BSNL was directed to deploy the Indian 4G stack in accordance with Atma-nirbhar Bharat initiative of the government. The Expression of Interest (EOI) for the Proof of Concept (POC) was floated by BSNL on 1st January 2021. PoC has been completed with a few pending points. On 31-03-2022, BSNL issued a purchase order for 6,000 sites for the 4G roll-out, and another order for 6,000 sites on 25-07-2022. In October 2022, BSNL floated a tender for its requirement of 1 lakh 4G sites.

The Government of India approved the revival plan for BSNL and MTNL on 23.10.2019. Through the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS), the committee approved reducing employee costs, restructuring debt by raising sovereign guarantee bonds, allocating spectrum for 4G services through capital infusion, monetizing core and non-core assets, and approving in principle the merger of BSNL and MTNL. Due to these factors, BSNL has become EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) positive since 2020-21.

On 27.07.2022, the Government approved a revival package for BSNL amounting to Rs 1.64 lakh crores in order to transform it into a viable public sector undertaking. BSNL’s revival measures include infusing fresh capital, allocating spectrum, de-stressing its balance sheet, and enhancing its fiber network by merging with Bharat Broadband Nigam Limited (BBNL).

In a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today, Shri Devusinh Chauhan, Minister of State for Communications, provided this information.

*News Source: PIB India*

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