BSNL expects to roll out 4G within 10 months upon successful completion of trials, which means it is expected to roll out by the end of next year. The trials were originally expected to be completed by October 31, 2021.

BSNL’s 4G trials are expected to be extended until January 15 as the TCS-led consortium has not yet demonstrated services with 40W wireless equipment under the terms specified in the Expression of Interest (EoI).

According to sources, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has informed BSNL that it will install 40W radios in select locations by December 20 and will begin trials on them by December 23. Experiments with 20 watt radios are currently being successfully conducted.

“It appears that the trials may be extended further by January 15,” a source familiar with the details said.

BSNL had earlier extended the trials by two months, until December 31.

BSNL expects to roll out 4G within 10 months upon successful completion of trials, which means it is expected to roll out by the end of next year. The trials were originally expected to be completed by October 31, 2021.

The TCS-led consortium is the only candidate currently conducting trials in Chandigarh. TCS has partnered with C-DoT for the core network and Tejas and Altiostar for radio equipment. Other successful bidders – Tech Mahindra, HFCL and L&T – are not experimenting due to some issues with their primary network partners.

As previously reported, BSNL has been authorized by the government to use a “domestic kernel or Indian kernel” in its network to expand 4G services. Accordingly, BSNL has tendered for 50,000 sites with a local core and letter of intent issued to five vendors, including TCS, Tech Mahindra, HFCL, L&T and ITI.

The rollout of BSNL has already been delayed so much that an earlier tender for 4G was canceled in July last year.

The state-run company has also been unable to upgrade its network in the southern and western regions as the BSNL proposal has not been approved at its board meetings in the recent past. The company wanted to upgrade 2G/3G sites, totaling around 13,533 in the southern and western regions at a cost of Rs 567.35 crore.

The upgrade would have helped BSNL increase its revenue as the southern region alone contributes about 40% of the revenue generated from mobile services.

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