Govt orders BSNL to use local firms for 4G/5G

15 Aug 2022

The Indian government has ordered state-owned telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to only work with domestic vendors for its 4G and 5G projects, the Times of India writes. The localisation effort is part of the government’s ‘Make in India’ policy, which aims to fuel the growth and development of the country’s manufacturing industry by encouraging the use of goods and services produced in India.

During discussions with BSNL’s management, communications minister Ashwini Vaishnaw was quoted as saying of the operator’s long-delayed network upgrade and expansion plans: ‘We are infusing so much money (through the revival package) because BSNL is as strategic company in a strategic sector. In a strategic public sector undertaking (PSU), we will use only trusted inputs and technologies which are “Made in India” under the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ [self-reliant India] programme.’ The official went on to dismiss doubts regarding the reliability of locally developed solutions, saying that some ‘teething problems’ were to be expected but would be addressed and improved over time.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the government last month approved a revival package for BSNL valued at more than USD20 billion, including funds for the allocation of 4G airwaves and the rollout of 4G infrastructure.

India, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL)