Bharat Sanchar Nigam expects more than Rs 17,000 crore in service revenues in FY22, a tad lower than the previous fiscal year, mainly due to the elimination of call charges that used to drive additional inflows, said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer PK Purwar.

Purwar claimed that the state-owned telecom company is confident in maintaining its customer base and defending its territory with high-quality 4G services set to launch in the coming months, even as competition intensifies with privately owned telcos preparing for 5G services.

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The start of 5G offerings by private operators will not put BSNL at an immediate disadvantage as the device ecosystem for the new-age services is still evolving, he said, adding that preparations for the launch of BSNL’s 4G services is well on schedule.

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) aims to roll out 4G in 2022.

“Despite the challenges, we have been able to maintain stable revenues (from services, excluding other revenues) in FY22. As against Rs 17,452 crore revenues from services in FY21, we will close this year at over Rs 17,000 crore in revenues,” Purwar told PTI.

The drop is due to the elimination of interconnection charges, he added. The call charges, which have been scrapped, provided an additional revenue stream of about Rs 600-800 crore for the telecom company, and its shutdown has dried up that influx.

BSNL’s losses amounted to Rs 15,500 crore in 2019-20 and had halved to Rs 7,441 crore in 2020-21.

“For this fiscal year, we expect losses to be at the same level as last year,” the BSNL chief said.

While significant savings were achieved thanks to VRS (reducing payroll costs) and tight control of opex, the removal of voice call rates had an impact on overall performance as BSNL used to be a net IUC (interconnect usage cost) gain.

The company’s focus in the coming fiscal year will be on the rollout of 4G and the expansion of Fiber to Home.

“Quality 4G services from BSNL will bring comfort to our customers to stay with us. I believe the 5G handset ecosystem needs its own time to mature,” said Purwar.

When asked how BSNL hopes to compete in a market where rivals are rolling up their sleeves for the 5G auction and subsequent launch of next-generation services, Purwar claimed the telecom PSU will do everything it can to support its commercial development. to protect interests.

The spectrum auctions will be held in 2022 to facilitate the roll-out of 5G mobile services in 2022-23 by private telecom operators. The market is gearing up for the rollout of 5G services that will usher in ultra-fast speeds and spawn new services and business models.

“Even today, when we have 3G, we are still able to hold our own in the market. I also don’t expect the slowdown for 5G services to be comparable to that of 4G services,” Purwar said.

The roadmap for FY23 is clear and “good progress” has been made with proof of concept, where nearly all critical testing required for commercial deployment on the core side has been successfully completed.

“There is also substantial progress on the radio access network (RAN) side,” he said.

Once the tests are completed, BSNL will partner with successful bidders (TCS, Center for Development of Telematics and Tejas Networks) for commercial discussions so that the procurement process can continue, Purwar explained.

According to Union budget documents, the government will inject Rs 44,720 crore into BSNL in the next financial year. The provision has been made for capital infusion for the 4G spectrum, technology upgrade and restructuring in the telecom PSU.

In order to strengthen the state telecom companies, the government had approved a revival plan for BSNL and MTNL in 2019.

The revival plan included measures to reduce personnel costs through a Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS), administrative allocation of spectrum for the provision of 4G services with funding

through budget allocation, monetization of non-core and core assets to generate resources to service debt, engage in capital expenditures and debt restructuring by raising government guarantee bonds.
As a result of these measures, BSNL and MTNL turned EBIDTA positive (operating profit) in 2020-21.

This post BSNL’s service revenue was Rs 17,000 cr in FY22; says confidence in defending turf with quality 4G services

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