Asked on the timeline, he said "we can't give any timeline. Though, world over people are talking to launch 5G by June 2020. But, there aresome expectations that we may see 5G (launch) in 2019 itself," he said.
"We have missed the 4G bus.. BSNL doesn't...
want to miss the 5G bus in the entire country," he said. As far as 5G is concerned, Jain said BSNL has taken a lead in this and pointed out that "to do the learning and testing on the ground and making our system compatible with 5G, BSNL has signed agreement with several international operators including Nokia, NTT Advance Technology." He further said internationally, there were several recommendations coming for 5G and BSNL along with these companies was testing those recommendations and working on its own network.
"World over the same thing is happening. In Germany, China, US and India lot of tests have been conducted," he said. On BSNL's new offering 'Wings', which will be rolled out from August 1 across the country, Jain said "through this the target is to have 50 lakh new customers by the end of this fiscal".
Earlier Jain announced launch of several promotional plans under Broadband, landline and for FTTH network. "With these new offers we are hopeful to add 15 lakh new customers for landline and broadband connections against the current customer base of 60 lakh while we are expecting to add 30 lakh more for fiber broadband from the existing 2.3 lakh fibre connections pan-India by March 2019," he added. Earlier, BSNL BSNL Chairman and MD Anupam Shrivastava, said the operator is likely to swing into profit in financial year 2019-20, a year later than previously estimated, as stiff competition has squeezed margins. According to BSNL Chairman and MD Anupam Shrivastava, "market disruption" and fall in tariffs have dashed hopes of clocking profit in 2018-19 and BSNL intends to focus sharply on gaining subscriber market share and growing enterprise business to protect revenue over the coming quarters.
"In this financial year, it won't be possible...because the market has disrupted a lot and many companies are in red. We hope that in 2019-20 we will be able to swing into net profit," Shrivastava told when asked about BSNL's previous estimates of becoming profitable in 2018-19. BSNL, which offers mobile, landline and broadband services across India (except Delhi and Mumbai where MTNLNSE 2.68 % operates) is yet to announce 2017-18 financial results. Shrivastava said BSNL had gained market share at a time when rival private operators had seen that metric static.
BSNL's loss stood at Rs 4,786 crore in 2016-17, marginally lower than Rs 4,875 crore in 2015-16. The losses, in fact, have narrowed sharply from Rs 8,234 crore in 2014-15.
BSNL's total revenue was been pegged at about Rs 32,000 crore and revenue from operations at about Rs 28,000 crore in 2016-17, with EBITDA at about Rs 1,700 crore, he said.