BSNL has pumped Rs. 2,500 crore for the expansion of its mobile networks due to growing digital requirements. According to sources, the investment will be used for the expansion of WiFi hotspots, mobile towers including the core network.
In a statement, BSNL disclosed that nearly Rs. 4000 crore has been allocated for BSNL’s own projects and another Rs. 3000 for government-funded projects.
Commenting on the development, Anupam Shrivastava, CMD, BSNL revealed that for projects that are being funded by us, we have already pumped in about Rs. 1,500 crore during the first half of the fiscal. However, Rs. 2500 crore will be put to optimum use between October and March for setting up of Wi-Fi hotspots, GSM expansion, and strengthening of the core network.
BSNL will use part of Rs. 2500 crore to expand Wi-Fi hotspots
Initially, the part of the funding will be used internally to expand Wi-Fi hotspots across the operator’s coverage area. However, the company is also planning to upgrade GSM mobile network including the strengthening of core network by laying optical fibre lines. BSNL will also invest in a wide range of latest network equipment’s to combat the forthcoming technological challenges.
Shrivastava, meanwhile, revealed that the company is planning to expand the currently available 2700 WiFi hotspots to 40000 by March 2018. He said that the Wii strategy of the state-owned company is opex and capex model.
BSNL will adopt a mix of capex and opex model
In future, BSNL will adopt a mixture of capex and opex model for the roll-out of WiFi. In the case of opex model, the company will appoint franchisees who install, manage and run hotspots for a period of five years.
The partners will be responsible for the overall sales and marketing activity. They operate on a revenue-sharing model. As far as capex model is concerned, the state-owned mobile carrier creates and owns own WiFi hotspots.
The main reason for the company to expand their network is to fulfil the upcoming requirements due to growing awareness of Digital India including local digital regulation. Moreover, mobile manufacturers are incorporating multimedia content into the handsets.