BSNL to pump in Rs 2,500 cr for expansion of network

NEW DELHI: State owned telecom firm BSNL is set to invest around Rs2,500 crore in expansion projects for wifi hotspots, mobile towers and core network strengthening during the second half of the financial year.

According to the firm, around Rs4,000 crore is earmarked for BSNL’s own projects and Rs3,000 crore for government-funded projects.

“For projects that are being funded by us, we have already pumped in about Rs1,500 crore during the first half of the fiscal, and about Rs 2,500 crore will be invested between October and March for setting up of wifi hotspots, GSM expansion and strengthening of core network,” said CMD, Anupam Shrivastava.

Projects that will be funded internally include expansion of Wifi hotspots across the operators coverage area, the GSM mobile network and strengthening of core network by laying optical fibre lines and investing in related network equipment.

“Currently, 2700 wifi hotspots are already in place in the country and we would like to take it to 40,000 wifi hotspots by March 2018. Our wifi strategy is based on opex and capex model,” pointed out Shrivastava. BSNL has chosen to go for a mix of “capex and opex model” for the wifi roll out. The ‘opex model’ will have franchisees who install, manage and run hotspots for five years.