Modi government ‘instructs’ BSNL to discontinue 2G services; management, employees protest

60 percent of BSNL’s mobile revenue comes from 2G services. The BSNL management and workers’ organisation – All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB) – have both opposed the suggestion

Modi government ‘instructs’ BSNL to discontinue 2G services; management, employees protest
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NH Political Bureau

Despite being well aware that the state-owned telecommunications company Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) is battling for survival amid cutthroat competition posed by private telecom giants such as JIO and Airtel, a committee of technical experts constituted by the Modi government has ‘instructed’ the BSNL to discontinue 2G services.

Sources in the know of the development told National Herald that the so-called ‘instruction’ has come at a time when BSNL is trying hard to revive its fortune by launching 4G services.

“Discontinuation of 2G services would be detrimental…last nail in the coffin of the BSNL you can say,” said an employee on condition of anonymity.

It is worth noting that 60 percent of BSNL’s mobile revenue comes from 2G services.

The BSNL management and workers’ organization – All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB) – have both opposed the suggestion.

Another trade unionist associated with the AUAB claimed that the ‘instruction’ was not to discontinue 2G services but to stop further investment in it.

The BSNL management and AUAB have protested against the suggestion and have taken up the issue with the DoT, said the BSNL employee.

Even as the Modi government sanctioned Rs 68,751 crore as a revival package last year, the AUAB has time and again blamed the government for the delay in rolling out 4G services.

P Abhimanyu, general secretary of BSNL Employees Union, had told National Herald that the tender floated by BSNL to procure 4G equipment was put on hold by the government.

“BSNL is already lagging behind private operators by 4 years in rolling out its 4G service. The revival of BSNL is unimaginable without introduction of the 4G service. In such a situation, it is a matter of serious concern that all-out efforts are being made by vested interests to scuttle BSNL’s 4G rollout,” said Abhimanyu.

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