- Pan India 4G ICRA between BSNL and Vi under discussion
- ICRA currently being tested in 2 circles including Rajasthan
- Vi wants access to 10,000 route KM of BSNL fiber network
State-run BSNL which has been facing constant roadblocks in the rollout of its 4G services is now reportedly in talks with the third largest telecom operator Vi for a short term solution. As per a report by the BusinessLine, BSNL and Vi are in discussion for a pan India intra-circle roaming agreement (ICRA), whereby BSNL 2G and 3G subscribers will be able to latch on to Vi 4G network. The ICRA is currently under testing in 2 circles including Rajasthan.
In return for the 4G ICRA, Vi has demanded access to 10,000 route Kilometres of fiber network from BSNL as Vodafone Idea is lacking the fiber backhaul to support its 4G towers. The discussions for finalising the deal are being spearheaded by BSNL CMD PK Purwar, sources said.
A Technical Committee, constituted by the Government, in its September 30 report, recommended that BSNL phase out 2G services in the next two years and concentrate only on 4G services. However, this was opposed by BSNL unions and employees as the operator rakes in about 60 per cent of its mobile revenue from 2G services.
Further, the company needs technology that is compatible with both 2G and 4G services, while it is also seeking to upgrade existing 49,300 base transceiver stations (BTSs) to support 4G.