The Indian parliament’s Standing Committee of Information Technology has urged the government to allocate 4G spectrum to state-owned telecom service providers Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) as soon as possible. The Economic Times quotes a report from the group as saying: ‘The committee is of the view that both BSNL and MTNL will lose the data 4G services soon. To compete and survive in the telecom market, the Committee feels that 4G spectrum should be given to them at the earliest.’ The duo has applied for 5MHz of 2100MHz band spectrum in each of their service areas (Delhi and Mumbai for MTNL, and the remaining 20 circles for BSNL).
In a related development, however, the government’s Public Enterprises Survey 2016-2017 – which details the performance of public sector entities – listed MTNL and BSNL amongst the ten companies that made the greatest losses during the period under review. A total of 82 of the companies surveyed made losses during that period, whilst 174 recorded a profit.