State-owned telecom operator BSNL will get 5G next year, Union Minister of Communications Ashwini Vaishnaw has said. The minister added that BSNL could launch 5G services on August 15, 2023. Vaishnaw was speaking at the ongoing India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2022 where Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched 5G services in the country.
Asked how BSNL could achieve that target by next year when it is only just launching 4G on its network now, Vaishnaw said that the transition from 4G to 5G is not long and can be achieved in that time frame. He also clarified that initially, BSNL’s 5G will be based on the non-standalone architecture. In the non-standalone architecture, operators can maximise the utilisation of their existing network infrastructure with relatively lower investment.
In July, the government had cleared a Rs 1.64 lakh crore booster shot for the loss-making BSNL with an aim to upgrade the operator’s network to 4G, while de-stressing its balance sheet. The four-year turnaround plan includes both a cash component and a non-cash component.