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BSNL partners with Nokia and ZTE for 4G core network technology

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In Short:

BSNL sought help from Chinese ZTE and Finnish Nokia to stabilize its unstable 4G network developed by C-DoT. Challenges in network core have delayed BSNL’s commercial rollout of next-gen network. Indigenous 4G core developed by C-DoT faced issues in outdoor environments. TCS-led consortium bagged order from BSNL for 4G network deployment. Private sector telecom companies ahead in 5G deployment. BSNL’s 4G rollout marred with hiccups.

BSNL seeks help from ZTE and Nokia for stabilizing 4G network

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In a setback to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Atmanirbhrata initiative in the telecom sector, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has reached out to Chinese ZTE and Finnish Nokia for assistance. This is in response to issues faced with the unstable and incompatible 4G backbone network developed by the state-owned Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT).

BSNL’s move for network stabilization

BSNL has engaged Nokia and ZTE to stabilize the outdoor 4G services by leveraging their core networks. The focus is also on boosting the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) capacity for network traffic enhancement. This effort is concentrated in BSNL’s northern and western zones at selected network sites.

Despite successful trials of the indigenous 4G core in commercial networks at Chandigarh and Ambala, challenges persist with the core network’s performance in outdoor environments. This has posed difficulties for multiple subscribers trying to make concurrent calls.

Outlook and future deployments

While there is optimism about resolving the issues within the next few weeks, the commercial rollout of the next generation network by BSNL remains uncertain. The company’s ambitious plans for network development are still pending due to these challenges.

TCS, as part of a consortium, had secured an order for pan-India deployment of 4G and upgradable to 5G network in BSNL. However, the current focus is on addressing the core network issues before proceeding with further deployments.

Industry insights and observations

Private sector players like Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel have made significant progress in deploying 5G infrastructure, showcasing higher availability rates compared to BSNL. Despite setbacks, BSNL aims to accelerate its 4G network rollout in the coming fiscal year.

It is essential for BSNL to address the technical challenges in its network development to stay competitive in the evolving telecom landscape.

Queries to BSNL, C-DoT, TCS, Nokia, and ZTE for comments on the situation have yet to receive responses.

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