The Centre has approved BSNL's Rs 26,281 crore deal with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to develop and roll out its 4G services in India, reported Business Standard yesterday. The telco aims to kick off its 4G services by December this year or January 2023. 5G services will be tentatively rolled out by August 2023. "With both 4G and 5G services, the telco aims to reduce customer attrition," reports Business Standard. In July, BSNL was granted a Rs 1.64 lakh crore bailout by the Centre to cover its 4G development and launch, and "de-stress" its balance sheet. Why it matters: In 2020, BSNL cancelled a 4G upgrade tender after the Department of Telecommunications asked it not to lean on Chinese gear, said sources speaking to Economic Times. Now, the government's mandate is that BSNL only utilises domestic companies for 4G development, said sources speaking to Business Standard in October. TCS is reportedly the first domestic entity to provide 4G solutions at this scale. What does the deal entail: The tech giant will be responsible for setting up and maintaining 4G networks for nine years. The equipment will be locally manufactured by Tejas Networks, a Tata Sons unit. Core equipment will be provided within 12 months of the order, while radio equipment will be provided within 18 to 24 months, said TCS in October. TCS is set to receive a Rs 10,000 crore purchase order from BSNL soon, adds Business Standard. TCS also aims to set up one lakh BSNL-MTNL network towers, with an additional…
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