Indian state-owned operator BSNL has had its application to be allocated 4G spectrum approved by the Department of Telecom, and now plans to roll out commercial services starting in March.
The operator will receive 4G spectrum next month to allow it to offer faster data services to its customer base of more than 100 million and better compete with its private sector rivals, the Press Trust of Indiareported.
BSNL is expected to be allocated around 10 MHz of spectrum in the 2,100-MHz band. Early this year, BSNL contracted Nokia to upgrade its network in 10 of India's 22 operating circles to allow it to deploy 4G and VoLTE services. The company also plans to deploy 50,000 more towers over the next few months.
The modalities of the allocation are still being worked out, and BSNL has declined to confirm whether reports of an equity infusion by the government to fund the purchase of the spectrum are accurate.
Meanwhile BSNL has entered a partnership with Reliance Group's IoT subsidiary Unlimit. Under the agreement, BSNL will offer its access to its wireless network on a non-exclusive basis to Unlimit customers.
BSNL aims to add 1 million connections through the Unlimit partnership in the next 12 months.