CommScope looks to secure deals with Indian telco BSNL: Report

CommScope is currently supplying cables, microwave antennas, filters and switches to Indian telcos Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm

U.S. company CommScope said it is currently in talks with Indian state-run telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to potentially secure telecoms contracts with the company, Indian newspaper The Economic Times reported.

“We are trying very hard to work with BSNL. We see them as a major player in the Indian market. Our discussions are in progress,” Femi Oshiga, VP of service providers for the MEA and APAC regions at CommScope, said. The executive added that any development on this front would “very much depend on BSNL”.

“We are vying for business with them. And we hope to be successful in the months to come,” the executive added.

The executive said the CommScope is currently supplying cables, microwave antennas, filters and combiners and switches to Indian telcos Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm.

BSNL recently said it is planning to launch its 4G service in December on a limited scale and then roll it out across the country by June 2024.

The telco’s rollout plans had been announced by BSNL chairman and managing director P. K. Purwar at the India Mobile Congress 2023.

Purwar also said that the company plans to upgrade its 4G service to 5G after June 2024. As of today, local carriers Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm are the sole operators in India offering 5G services.

“BSNL’s 4G service is ready for launch in Punjab in December. We have already done the hardening required for a network with 200 sites. We are in the process of installing 3,000 sites in Punjab,” Purwar said, adding that BSNL will gradually increase the number of sites to 6,000 and then to 9,000, 12,000 and 15,000 sites per month.

“Our target is to complete the 4G rollout by June 2024. After June, we will be moving to 5G services,” Purwar added.

IT company TCS and government-owned ITI have secured orders from BSNL for the deployment of the telco’s 4G network infrastructure. According to previous reports, the Indian government had said that only Indian telecoms vendors will be allowed to supply equipment for state-run telcos BSNL and MTNL’s 4G and 5G projects, as part of the country’s efforts to reduce dependence on international providers.

The company noted that this infrastructure is technically ready to be upgraded to 5G. Purwar also noted that the state-run telco has enough spectrum to deploy 5G services once the 4G rollout is fully completed.

BSNL previously said it aims to initially provide 4G services in high-revenue telecom circles in India. Currently, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Punjab are among the high-revenue-earning circles for the state-owned carrier.

The government of India previously confirmed it had earmarked a total of INR890 billion ($10.7 billion) for the allotment of spectrum for BSNL to launch nationwide 4G and 5G services. Through this move, the state-owned telco has access to spectrum in the 700 MHz, 2.5 GHz, 3.3 GHz and 26 GHz bands.

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