|BSNL CMD A Shrivastava|
BHARAT Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is in talks with private cable operators for offering broadband services using cable network for last-mile connectivity in small cities and towns.
“We are in talks with various cable operators to use their access to each and every household. It will be a profit-sharing arrangement,” BSNL’s chairman and managing director, Anupam Shrivastava, was quoted as saying in a national financial daily.
The state-run telecom major has already experimented with such a model in few locations...and the service will be across the country (except Delhi and Mumbai where Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited operates) in the next financial year.
Through various measures, BSNL expects to double its revenues from data and broadband services to Rs 15,000-16,000 crore in the next two to three years. Currently, it generates Rs 1,350 crore from the data segment and Rs 7,500 crore from the broadband segment. While mobile services account for revenues of Rs 13,500 crore.
At present, the focus is on data services — Wifi, broadband and 4G (fourth generation) to increase its revenue flows. BSNL has been offering discounts for its landline and broadband services.
Through the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN), the government has plans to offer broadband services in rural areas.
NOFN will connect 250,000 gram panchayats by December 2016 at an estimated cost of Rs 30,000-35,000 crore. Once implemented, NOFN will provide 100-Mbps (megabytes per second) bandwidth to ease broadband services.
NOFN is being funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), that is built with contributions from private telecom operators. However, for end-to-end services, service providers will have to set up their own infrastructure at the gram panchayats.
The number of wired broadband subscribers grew marginally to 15.32 million in December 2014 from 15.23 million in November 2014, shows data from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), .An increasing competition and constraints in its capacity expansion plan led BSNL to post a loss of Rs 1,823 crore in 2009-10. BSNL now aims to bring back BSNL into profits in two-three years.