In a leg up to tech adoption, the state-owned telecom operator BSNL is set to install about 1.12 lakh towers throughout the country, a move that will not just bring better connectivity but will further help BSNL to roll out an indigenous 4G telecom network across India.
According to Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, the internet connection inside trains can be available only when the 5G network will be rolled out as communications get disrupted with 4G technology in trains running at the speed of 100 km per hour.
“I am happy to inform you that the 4G telecom network is ready for roll out soon and it is developed in India by Indian engineers and scientists. Our development of 4G network is being appreciated worldwide and it has a core network, radio network with full telecom equipment,” the minister said.
The minister said the BSNL is in the process of ordering 6,000 towers immediately and then 6,000 more and finally 1 lakh to be installed all over the country for the 4G network. “The development of 5G technology is going on in parallel and will be ready in a few months,” the minister said.
Asked about the availability of 4G internet service in trains, he said “if a train is running more than 100 km speed, we need a 5G network”. “There is a disruption in the 4G network. But this is a time of technological evaluation and as the 5G is getting ready, 5G will also be available,” he said.
Vaishnaw said the Telecom Service Providers fiberise their Base Transceiver Stations (BTSs) installed on mobile towers and 7,93,551 BTSs have been connected by optical fiber in the country as of February 1, 2022.
He said the BTS used to provide mobile communications belong to the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) and the decisions to connect them through fiber or other means including microwave are taken by TSPs based on various techno-commercial considerations including network capacity required at that particular location.
The major obstacle to liberalisation of Telecom Towers, as reported by TSPs, are high charges, complex processes, and delay involved in getting Right of Way (ROW) permissions due to the non-alignment of the ROW Policy of States with Indian Telegraph Right of Way Rules, 2016 notified by the central government, he said.