Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw stated on Wednesday that the Union Cabinet had authorized a package worth 1.64 lakh crore Indian rupees for the purpose of reviving the state-owned telecom company BSNL.
The plan includes three components: first, an improvement of services; second, a reduction of stress on the balance sheet; and third, an expansion of the fiber network.
In his briefing to the press on the decision reached by the Union Cabinet, he stated that the government would make an administrative allocation of the spectrum that BSNL need in order to provide 4G services.
In order to alleviate the strain on the balance sheet, statutory obligations in the amount of Rs. 33,000 crore would be turned into equity, and a comparable amount of bank loans will be repaid through the issuance of bonds with a low interest rate.
Additionally, he stated that BBNL and BSNL are going to combine their operations.
This step is being made with the intention of assisting the money-losing company in better competing with private competitors.
Since Jio, the telecoms branch of Reliance Industries, as well as competing companies Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have put out 4G services and aggressively lowered data pricing, the company has had a difficult time attracting new consumers.
In the meantime, businesses owned by billionaires Mukesh Ambani, Sunil Bharti Mittal, and Gautam Adani have recently submitted bids totaling over Rs. 1.45 lakh crore to purchase airwaves for the fifth generation (5G). On the first day of India’s largest-ever spectrum auction, which took place on Tuesday, the private corporations submitted their bids.
Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Minister of Telecom, stated that the response on the first day of the auction surpassed all expectations and will break the records set in 2015, which showed that the income collection from the auction was at Rs. 1.09 lakh crore.
Even the 700MHz band, which had no takers in the auctions that took place in 2016 and 2021, received bids during this round of bidding. During the first day of the auction, provisional bids of Rs. 39,270 crore were received for the highly desirable 700MHz band, according to the information that was released by the telecom department. Industry watchers stated this information.