Saturday, October 15, 2016

Big push: BSNL to invest Rs 2,500 crore in H2 FY17 on expansion plans

BSNL CMD Anupam Shrivastava
STATE-owned BSNL will invest around Rs 2,500 crore during the second half of this fiscal in various projects like expansion of Wi-Fi hotspots, installation of mobile towers and strengthening core network.
"Our investments for full fiscal are in two parts. About Rs 4,000 crore is earmarked for BSNL's own projects and Rs 3,000 crore for government-funded projects," Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) Chairman and Managing Director, Anupam Shrivastava told a news agency.
"For projects that are being funded...
by us, we have already pumped in about Rs 1,500 crore during the first half of the fiscal, and about Rs 2,500 crore will be invested between October and March for setting up of Wi-Fi hotspots, GSM expansion and strengthening of core network," he said.
Installation of mobile towers in Left-Wing Extremist states, BharatNet and Defence's network for spectrum project, are among the government-funded programmes being executed by BSNL.
Projects that are funded internally include expansion of Wifi hotspots, GSM mobile network, and strengthening of core network that is, laying of optical fibre and investment in related network equipment. Under the GSM expansion project, BSNL will install 20,000 BTS this fiscal to improve service quality, and most of these would be installed between now and March, he said.
BSNL has opted for a mix of "capex and opex model" for wifi roll out.
"Currently, 2700 wifi hotspots are already in place in the country and we would like to take it to 40,000 wifi hotspots by March 2018. Our wifi strategy is based on opex and capex model," he said.
The 'opex model' involves creation of wifi hotspots by franchisees who install, manage and run the sites for a period of five years. The partners are also responsible for sales and marketing activity and operate on revenue-sharing model.
Under the 'capex model', the telecom PSU creates and owns its Wi-Fi hotspots, he explained.
"We are going to connect these hotspots to our mobile network and therefore when our mobile customer enters our Wi-Fi zone, the data session will be seamlessly transferred to the Wi-Fi hotspot. It will be part of his data package, but he will suddenly start getting high speeds," Shrivastava added.
Earlier, the BSNL CMD had said that revenue of BSNL in 2015-16 was Rs 28,450 crore, 4.4 per cent more than 2014-15. Shrivastava said due to paucity of instruments and equipment from 2006 to 2012, BSNL missed the voice bus, but in the last two years several initiatives were taken and BSNL was ready for any challenge. He said that in the last two years 26,000 mobile towers were installed and in this financial year 20,000 additional towers would be installed.

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