In a recent development, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved a revival package of ₹89,047 crore for Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL). This marks the third revival package offered to the struggling state-owned telecom company. With this substantial investment, BSNL cannot be ignored by the government.
While private telecom companies have already launched 5G services, BSNL is yet to commercially roll out 4G. This lag in technological advancement has put BSNL far behind its competitors, according to industry executives, analysts, and market watchers.
The inception of BSNL dates back to September 2000 when it was incorporated, taking over the business from the government’s department of telecom services. At that time, the company boasted an impressive 2.4 crore telephone connections, instantly positioning itself as one of India’s largest companies. Its annual turnover was estimated at ₹20,000 crore, with assets valued at ₹68,000 crore.
However, BSNL encountered immediate challenges as approximately 400,000 employees from the department went on strike, opposing the transition.
The question now arises: Can BSNL be revived at this stage? The government’s significant investment indicates a commitment to the company’s revival. However, BSNL will face the daunting task of catching up with private telcos that have already made strides in the 5G era.
Only time will tell if BSNL can successfully turn the tide and regain its position as a major player in India’s telecom industry.