State-run telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) plans to invest Rs. 2,000 crores for the upgradation of its network, Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Thursday.
“The company has plans to invest Rs. 2,000 crores for the upgradation of its network which includes adding another 21,000 BTS (base transceiver stations). The addition would include 13,000 BTS which the telecom operator would use for its 3G services,” he said.
According to the minister, investment plan is part of the government’s initiative to modernise the public telecom operator so as to make it relevant in the competitive environment which telecom sector is facing now.
He dedicated the 1,000th Wi-Fi hot spot to the nation with the operationalisation of the facility at Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine in Jammu and Kashmir.
In a bid to tap new sources of revenue, the government also introduced a plan to deploy public Wi-Fihotspots across the country covering all religious, tourist and important locations in the country. It proposes to set up 2,500 hotspots across India in the first phase of the plan.
A slew of initiatives which include free night calling from its fixed landline to any other service providers’ network, free incoming calls while roaming and upgraded minimum speed of broadband from 512Kbps to 2Mbps have been taken by the company to regain its financial health.
As a part of upgrading and expanding both mobile as well as fixed telephone network, approximately 660 telephone exchanges have already been upgraded to NGN (Next Generation Network) from PSTN (public switched telephone network) exchanges.
The minister also gave go ahead to the NGN technology designed and manufactured locally by centre for development of telematics.
Prasad also inaugurated several value added services (VAS) on NGN and a new innovative services called fixed mobile telephony (FMT) which enables customers to make and take calls while moving.