IN A bid to bring beleaguered BSNL back on track, the telcom major has come up with a new policy for realizing the revenue potential of upcoming mobile governance projects launched by governments at central and state levels.
The state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) thus far was mainly focused in executing...infrastructure projects related to mobile governance, but with the new policy in place there will be more focus on service-based projects.
Now, there will be in place a framework for efficient execution of mobile governance service projects and there will be close co-ordination with business partners and governments.
“The revenue opportunity in this field has increased multi fold in view of government project of “Digital India” which aims to leverage ICT and mobile technology capabilities to deliver governance to common citizens across the length and breadth of the country,” the statement issued by the BSNL said.
“Mobile technology which till now was being seen just as enabler have become central for delivering governance and utility services to common citizens,” Anupam Shrivastava, director (consumer mobility), BSNL board said.
“The good news is that with the announcement of proactive government policies, the whole ecosystem has started moving up in right direction. New powerful and cheaper mobile devices with wide support for regional languages are coming which will help in delivering services in local language,” he added.
Shrivastava added that BSNL being the owner of one of the largest and widest network in the country with large skilled work force is best positioned to help government in realizing the goal of on demand delivery of governance.
BSNL is now streamlining its procedures to match the timeline expectations of the government and ensure timely execution of projects.
“BSNL is having deep rooted relations with all government departments which we will leverage to get more projects. We expect that in near future a large component of our top line revenue will come from this segment,” he added.
The once crowning jewels of the government along with MTNL, BSNL has been facing tough time with successive losses in revenue share to more efficient and more competitive private players.
Now, the telecom department (DoT) has for the first time set a tentative cutoff date—July 31, 2015—for concluding the much awaited merger of struggling PSUs.
In a presentation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, DoT said it expects to "secure Cabinet approval for the proposed BSNL-MTNL merger by June 30 next year".
The department expects to finalise the merger consultations with the unions of BSNL and MTNL by March 31, 2015, and circulate a draft Cabinet note for inter-ministerial consultations by April 30 next year. MTNL runs telecom services in Delhi and Mumbai while BSNL offers telecom coverage in the rest of India.
BSNL has 61,622 mobile towers, the second largest tower portfolio among all telcos.
BSNL is also the holder of one of the largest land banks among state-owned firms with properties worth thousands of crores of rupees across 3,500 towns.BSNL had said it hoped to raise nearly Rs 500 crore in the first year from leasing parts of its land holdings and would also offer its telecom factories to contract manufacturers to generate cash.