State-run telco Bhartiya Sanchar Nigam Limited has officially started its 4G services in India and has recently announced the operations in four districts in Maharashtra circle: Bhandara, Gondia, Akola, and Washim. According to the reports, 8 new locations will be following the BSNL 4G suite in the coming few weeks. To recall, BSNL started its 4G services from Nagpur rural area and Bhiwapur became the first region to get the services.
BSNL has been testing 4G services in the Idukki district of Kerela for quite a while. Earlier during the soft launch, the service was made available via existing 3G USIMs 256K modules. In the latest development, the telecom operator is providing 4G USIM cards in the area.
1,000 Plus Towers Enabled for BSNL 4G
According to sources, over 1,000 towers are being enabled within a year to provide 4G services in select regions. However, the telecom operator has not announced the timeline for rolling out the 4G services on a pan-India basis. As of now, BSNL 4G is available at 250 towers in the Idukki district of Kerela. The telecom operator has entirely shut down its 3G services in the region and now the subscribers will be able to latch onto either a 4G or a 2G network. Since the 3G towers have been scrapped off entirely, users are likely to end up with BSNL’s 2G network. To avoid the situation, they can go to a BSNL store in the region and get 4G USIM cards. The SIM card sells for INR 20 per card and can be activated via Tele-verification. Users in Nagpur region can also head over to the nearest BSNL store and avail a BSNL 4G USIM card.
BSNL 4G Speed On-Par with Private Operators
Like we mentioned earlier, BSNL has been testing its 4G services for a while. A TelecomTalk user posted a screenshot of a 4G test conducted on BSNL 4G network, and the results look promising. As per the test results, the speeds are on par with other private operators’ 4G speeds.
As visible in the image above, the 4G download speed on BSNL network is 18.1 Mbps, while the upload speed is 5.98 Mbps. The results have concluded the speeds on the BSNL 4G network are on-par with major private telecom operators in India like Vodafone-Idea, Airtel, and Reliance Jio. However, in some areas, Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel deliver far superior 4G speeds, which will remain unbeatable for BSNL with its current spectrum. Interestingly, the upload speed on the BSNL 4G network is quite impressive, seeing how private telcos often trip in the upload speed domain. According to Trai and OpenSignal, Idea Cellular, followed by Vodafone, offer the best upload speeds amongst the private telecom operators.
When Airtel and Reliance Jio are aiming big with the 5G services in India, BSNL and Vodafone Idea are sticking to provide better 4G services. To recall, Vodafone Idea has been working on upgrading infrastructure to offer superior 4G, VoLTE services. During the Indian Mobile Congress 2018, Vodafone Idea Chairman, Kumar Mangalam Birla said, “A lot needs to be done. We are working on upgrading and consolidating the infrastructure to deliver better services for masses.“India has begun its odyssey to become a digital economy. We are committed to make Digital India a reality. Telcos have been successful in delivering voice service under NTP 1999, and the time has come to repeat that, and make digital India a reality”