Govt explores measures to make BSNL compete with private operators: Report - Hindustan Times
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Govt explores measures to make BSNL compete with private operators: Report

By, New Delhi
Feb 27, 2024 01:25 PM IST

As per an official, BSNL must benchmark employee expenses with other telecom operators.

The government is reportedly considering several measures to improve operational efficiencies in Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and make the state-run telecom operator compete with private players.

The government's move is deemed crucial for the struggling BSNL to level the playing field with its private competitors. (REUTERS/File)
The government's move is deemed crucial for the struggling BSNL to level the playing field with its private competitors. (REUTERS/File)

The measures being explored include network upgradation, employee cost realisation, improving channels for sales and distribution, and introducing more value-added services (VAS), according to the Economic Times story (behind paywall).

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Also Read: Will resolve issues faced by BSNL, says Rajya Sabha member Arora

While the government's move is expected to streamline expenses (particularly towards employee benefit costs), it is also deemed crucial for BSNL to level the playing field with its privately-owned competitors, the report stated, quoting sources.

“We have to benchmark employee expenses with other telecom operators,” an official told the business daily.

‘Employee costs still a major hurdle’

As per the report, BSNL's staff expenses account for a significant 38.4% of the operator's complete revenue (as of FY23), meaning that employee costs remain a major hurdle despite BSNL slashing its workforce through voluntary retirement schemes, since 2019.

This figure is significantly higher as compared to the ones for private players in the country, the story added.

BSNL's 4G service launch delayed

Earlier, Mint, the sister website of Hindustan Times, reported that the pan-India launch of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited's 4G service will get pushed to December 2024, due to delays by vendor Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) to install 4G equipment, the former's management told the employees’ union last week.

Also Read: BSNL to launch India-developed 4G services

This prompted BSNL workers to write to Union telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, and urge him to allow the operator to use Vodafone Idea’s 4G network on the grounds that the Centre is the largest shareholder in the debt-laden private company.

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