According to Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, BSNL’s 5G services will be available only after the complete rollout of 4G services across India.
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On Wednesday, the Lok Sabha was informed that 5G services have been launched in 329 cities, covering all Licensed Service Areas (LSAs). The Minister of State for Communications, Devusinh Chauhan, stated in a written response that population-scale solutions are currently being tested on indigenous 4G/5G stacks in various fields including healthcare, agriculture, education, gaming, smart manufacturing, and drones.
Furthermore, the indigenous technology stack for 4G/5G has been created by the Center for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) and Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (RJIL), with the proof of concept of C-DoT’s 4G technology stack successfully demonstrated in the BSNL network.
The minister has disclosed that RJIL’s indigenous technology stack is being widely used for the rollout of its 5G network, and may be exported to other nations in the future. In other news, Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has confirmed that BSNL’s 5G services will only be launched after 4G services have been deployed throughout India. BSNL issued a tender for 1 lakh 4G sites in October 2022, with the bid being opened on November 23, 2022. Vaishnaw stated that the evaluation of the bid has been completed, and the 4G services will be launched throughout India, including Maharashtra and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, within 18-24 months of placing the Purchase Order.
Additionally, when questioned about the merger of BSNL and MTNL, MoS Chauhan replied that the Cabinet had approved the revival package for BSNL on July 27, 2022, including the formation of a Committee of Secretaries (CoS) to examine in detail the matters relating to MTNL, including the merger of MTNL with BSNL.
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Chauhan also mentioned in response to another query on OTT communication services that the draft Indian Telecommunication Bill, 2022, released for public consultation in September, classifies ‘OTT communication services as a type of telecommunication service.
According to MoS Chauhan, the policy objective is to bring all forms of telecommunication, including OTT communication services, within the ambit of the law. The draft Telecommunication Bill will be subject to further revisions based on comments and suggestions received during public consultation.