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BSNL will launch 4G and 5G in August

The state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will launch its much-awaited commercial 4G services along with fifth-generation or 5G network in Non-Standalone (NSA) mode by August 15 this year, a top official of the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) said.

“While we were doing our proof of concept (PoC), we were also working on 5G. As far as the 5G NSA is concerned, we will launch the BSNL network by August 2022. So, they can really start service, it will be 4G plus 5G,” Rajkumar Upadhyay, Executive Director & Chairman of C-DoT said, adding that the 5G NSA core will be ready by Independence Day this year.

Further, the top executive of a state-run company which is a part of a consortium to provide core equipment, said that BSNL’s 4G network has been “successfully completed”.

Mumbai-based Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)-backed consortium was shortlisted to undertake field trials in Ambala and Chandigarh to demonstrate next generation telecom network to be deployed at state-driven telco, following the following the withdrawal of rival consortiums led by L&T, HFCL, and Tech Mahindra.

“I think we expect BSNL to soon launch (4G) after commercial agreements have been put in place. A formal order has to come and we expect somewhere by August (this year) the service should start in BSNL,” Upadhyay said.

The C-DoT executive said that BSNL’s 5G SA deployment can be expected by Q3 of 2023. “We look forward to deploying 5G NSA by August and 5G SA by next year.”

Further, he said that India’s research organisation is open to providing source code to vendors for facilitating customisation to indigenously develop products.

A top executive of state-run Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL), said the firm is closely working with C-DoT for various products including the core network which is being indigenously developed for BSNL.

“C-DoT core has many innovative features which are not available even in a multinational’s product. And the best feature which I would like to mention here is the converged core, which can work for both fixed and mobile network and it is very cost-effective compared to the product offering by any other company,” said Sanjeev Kumar, CMD of TCIL, adding that the converged core will allow telcos to offer both fixed and mobile service from the same network while maintaining low CapEx and OpEx.

Abhay Karandikar, Director, IIT-Kanpur said that lately, there has been increased collaboration between the academia and telecom industry.

“We are definitely engaged with the industry particularly, the Indian industry. For example, C-DoT, Tejas Networks or Saankhya Labs, or TCS, even with several multinationals like Qualcomm or Samsung, or Nokia. Now, several projects are running in different IITs, which are being sponsored by the industry. And, and even, you know, in standards contributions, there have been discussions and collaborations with the industry,” Karandikar said, adding that there is a lot of scope to get engaged with the industry going forward.

The IIT-Kanpur director said that almost all IITs and academia have incubators that are bringing new startups through while a lot of research is getting commercialised. “So there is a startup culture as well. I think we are really entering into an era where there is a good ecosystem for industry-academy engagement,” he added. News Track

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