BSNL Survival impossible Beyond Two Years Without 4G: Employee Groups


State-run BSNL’s employee’s group All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB) has decided to write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and to Minister of Communications Ravi Shankar Prasad saying that the telco “cannot survive beyond two years” in the absence of fourth generation or 4G rollout.

Following the last week’s meeting, it has further asked the government not to discriminate against BSNL on the basis of the “Make in India” policy and has said that it should not be compelled to procure equipment from domestic vendors only.

The employee’s group noted that out of the upgradable 49,300 base transceiver stations (BTS), 13,300 BTSs are supplied by Nokia, and 36,000 BTSs are supplied by ZTE are 3G and 2G, and can be upgraded to 4G. AUAB said that the government should allow BSNL to get its 2G and 3G BTSs upgraded to 4G BTSs to launch 4G services.

India’s telecom sector, in the efforts of enabling policies including more quantum of the spectrum, is set to establish new benchmarks in the next-generation network deployments and service delivery.

“BSNL is facing attacks from all sides. If we don’t remain united it will be very difficult to save BSNL. In the past also, only the employees have protected BSNL through their struggles and not the Management. The AUAB has already sent a letter to all the Unions and Associations, which are not part of the AUAB, requesting them to join the AUAB, for organising united actions. If they make a positive move, we will welcome them,” said K. Sebastin, General Secretary, SNEA, K. Sebastin.

The equipment of phase 8.4 expansion is supplied by Nokia as L1. 4G BTSs can be procured through that tender by way of placing an add-on purchasing order, it noted, and added that that ailing telco should be allowed to procure 4G BTSs through the phase 8.4 tender.

The employee’s group has further reiterated its demand for adequate compensation for the losses caused by an inordinate delay in the launch of 4G services.

The AUAB also decided to write to the management demanding suitable remedial actions for the outsourcing of works related to maintenance of landline and broadband connections.

It added that attempts by the management or government to divert BSNL’s mobile towers to the subsidiary BSNL Tower Corporation (BTCL), or converting it into a joint venture, or opting for disinvestment would invite “militant struggles”.

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