State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) will invest about Rs 4,300 crore to expand network in 2018-19, and another Rs 5,000-6,000 crore is likely to be the utilised for government telecom projects, according to a top official. The investment of Rs 4,300 crore earmarked for BSNL’s own expansion will primarily go into strengthening the mobile network, upgrading broadband infrastructure and strengthening the core network, its Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava told PTI. “Rs 5,000 to 6,000 crore will be spent on the government projects like Bharat Net, Network for Spectrum, the Comprehensive Telecom Development Plan for North East, as well as boosting connectivity to Andaman with optical fibre network, and others,” he said. Other government projects that BSNL is executing include providing bandwidth to Lakshadweep Islands, and connecting remote areas of Arunachal Pradesh, he said. “Government is investing in large connectivity projects, where private players are not going. BSNL is being used as one of the vehicles to execute those projects and we do that work on behalf of government,” he said.
Shrivastava said that the telecom corporation will look to install 12,000 mobile towers for 3G services and 10,000 for 4G services. This will have a provision for 100 per cent expansion mapped to BSNL’s 4G services roll out and spectrum allocation. As per the latest report by telecom regulator, BSNL had 9.40 per cent share of mobile services market as on January 31 and had added 3.96 lakh customers during that month.