BSNL in total disarray across J&K, installs only 2 BTS since Apr 2020

Yogesh Sagotra. Updated: 8/10/2022 10:14:14 AM Front Page

Company installs less than 1% BTS compared to private telecom players to improve connectivity in villages

Jammu: The loss-making state-owned telecom player BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited) seems to be in complete disarray in Jammu and Kashmir as it has set up only two Base Transceiver Station (BTS) to improve mobile connectivity in rural areas of the Union Territory (UT) during the last two and a half years.
The state-owned company’s performance was just 0.19 percent and 0.50 percent in terms of the total number of BTS installed by Bharti Airtel Ltd and Reliance Jio Infocom Ltd in inhabited census villages in the rural areas of Jammu and Kashmir respectively.
What is more intriguing is that the company is yet to plan for the setting up of new BTS in rural areas of the Union Territory during the current year. It is not clear as to what has stopped the BSNL--a 100 percent Government of India-owned Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) to take new initiatives in J&K and the rest of the country.
It raises many questions as whether the state-owned telecom player, having weak financial position, deliberately avoided improving its telecom services in Jammu and Kashmir to benefit private telecom players.
According to an official document of the telecommunications department, the BSNL set up only two BTS to improve telecom connectivity in rural pockets of Jammu and Kashmir in 2020-21, while the company did not install any BTS during the 2021-22 and till June this year.
This is in contrast to a total of 396 BTS set up by the Reliance Jio Infocom Ltd to improve its 4G Services in rural areas of Jammu and Kashmir from April 2020 to June 2022. The company has planned to set up 52 BTS in rural pockets of the Union Territory to further strengthen its customer base in the remaining months of the current financial year.
Another telecom giant, Bharti Airtel Ltd came up with 1078 new BTS (541 in 2020-21, 354 during 2021-22 and 183 till June in the financial current year) for the period. “The Bharti Airtel Ltd has decided to come up with 122 new BTS in inhabited census villages of rural area of Jammu and Kashmir in the rest of the current financial year.
The document said that Vodafone India Ltd installed 31 BTS for the said period but it has not planned about the installation of new BTS in J&K for the remaining period of the current financial year.
Pertinently, the Government of India had recently announced a Rs 1.64 lakh crore bail-out package for the BSNL which had used the first bailout package of Rs 69,000 crore approved in July 2019 to fund a voluntary retirement scheme to trim its workforce and sharply reduce employee expenses that were a big part of its operating cost.
The reports suggest that the company’s continued losses and steady defeat in market share raises doubts over the success of a new bailout package.
Updated On 8/10/2022 10:19:10 AM

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