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    MTNL may turn into virtual network operator under BSNL supervision

    Last year, the government decided to merge two loss-making public companies: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) to revive them. Now, under the new plan, it is believed that MTNL will function as a virtual network operator (VNO) under BSNL’s guidelines.

    As part of the new agreement, MTNL will oversee landline, mobile and broadband services for BSNL. Hence BSNL may also start offering MTNL services in Mumbai and New Delhi circles as indicated by Business Standard.

    “Internationally, a VNO is only engaged in mobile services, but here we have changed the definition a bit. Therefore, MTNL can provide all services from landline, mobile and broadband, ”an official told BS.

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    The structure of the agreement was defined internally by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). The DoT will now turn to the highest decision-making body in the telecommunications department, the Digital Communications Commission (DCC) to seek approval.

    Recently, the DoT panel for BSNL’s 4G tender also recommended allowing only Indian companies to provide core network products and services to state telecoms. The DoT suggested allowing system integrators (SI model) to bid for the BSNL tender for 50,000 4G sites valued at over Rs 8,000 crore.

    But industry experts and analysts say adopting the SI model can harm telecoms’ ability to compete in the market. “The SI model has some serious questions even though BSNL opposed some areas as mentioned in the DoT panel recommendations. The core-to-SI model has not been demonstrated, ”a senior executive at a major foreign equipment supplier told ET Telecom.

    Last week, BSNL highlighted its 4G services at the Atal Tunnel when the new route opened on 3 October. The company installed Base Transceiver Station (BTS) towers in the 9.02km tunnel, which means that all BSNL users with 4G services will receive 20 to 25 Mbps internet speeds when crossing the underpass.

    In an attempt to revive BSNL and MTNL by the government, MTNL can function as a virtual network operator (VNO) under the supervision of BSNL.

    News Underline:

    • MTNL could function as a virtual network operator (VNO) under the supervision of BSNL in the future.
    • MTNL can oversee landline, mobile and broadband services for BSNL.
    • BSNL may also begin offering MTNL services in Mumbai and New Delhi circles.
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