On June 7, the Union Cabinet approved a third revival package for central government-run telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), allocating budgetary support worth ₹89,047.82 crore. Besides the financial aid, the telecom operator has also been allocated 4G/5G spectrum through equity infusion. Why it matters: It is worth noting that private telecom operators like Airtel and Jio have been providing 4G/5G services for a while now. Airtel started 4G services in 2012 and Jio launched its 4G services in 2016. With these two companies so far ahead in the rollout of 4G/5G services, one is left to wonder whether BSNL even stands a chance to compete. Moreover, even if BSNL is able to compete, the question is: are there even enough people using BSNL’s services for it to make a difference? According to TRAI’s report from 2022, the private sector collectively holds 90.17% of the wireless service market share with public sector operators BSNL and MTNL only holding a 9.83% market share combined. More details on the revival package: This is the third time BSNL has been provided financial support by the government—it received ₹69,000 Crore in 2019 and ₹1.64 Lakh Crore (given collectively to BSNL and MTNL) in 2022. The government says that these previous packages provided financial stability to the company. It says that with the latest revival package and the spectrum allocation, BSNL would be able to provide pan India 4G/5G coverage. It would be able to bring 4G coverage to villages through various connectivity projects…
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