The Union Cabinet has approved the third revival package for BSNL with a total outlay of Rs. 89,047 crore. It includes the allotment of 4G/5G spectrum through equity infusion.
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 7 approved the package. It allotted four spectrum bands – 700 MHz worth Rs 46,338.60 crore, 3,300 MHz for Rs 26,184.20 crore, 26 GHz for Rs 6,564.93 crore, and 2,500 MHz worth Rs 9,428.20 crore.
The authorised capital of BSNL will be increased from Rs. 1,50,000 crore to Rs. 2,10,000 crore. The public entity has been facing intense competition from private players, which have rolled out 4G services at low prices on voice calls and data. With the revival package, BSNL stands to emerge as a stable telecom service provider focused on providing connectivity to remotest parts of India, the union cabinet said in a release.
The new spectrum allotment will help BSNL provide pan-India 4G and 5G services, provide 4G coverage in rural and uncovered villages under various connectivity projects, provide Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) services for high-speed internet, and provide services/spectrum for Captive Non-Public Network (CNPN).
The earlier revival packages for BSNL were announced in 2019 worth Rs. 69,000 crore and 2022, amounting to Rs 1.64 lakh crore. The packages brought stability in BSNL/MTNL, and provided financial support for capex, viability gap funding for rural landlines, financial support for de-stressing the balance sheet, and settlement of AGR dues, merger of BBNL with BSNL, among others.