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BSNL to soon fall under 100 million wireless subscribers

Every month from January 2023, BSNL and MTNL have lost subscribers. BSNL lost 1,491,445 subscribers in January.

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Ayushi Singh
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BSNL/MTNL lost wireless subscribers in all circles in April 2023, with the exception of Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh East, and West Bengal, according to TRAI data.

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The number of wireless users of state-owned telecommunications company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is about to go below the 100 million threshold. According to the TRAI's monthly reports on wireless subscribers, it is predicted that BSNL would gradually over the next few months slip below this milestone. BSNL lost 729,096 wireless users, bringing its subscriber count to 102,851,438 as of April 30, 2023, according to the Telecom Subscription Data published by TRAI.

Every month from January 2023, BSNL/MTNL has lost subscribers. BSNL lost 1,491,445 subscribers in January. 1,025,604 subscribers were lost in February, and 519,008 more were lost in March. For the month of April, BSNL lost 729,096 wireless subscribers.

BSNL's greatest VLR(visitor location register) percentage (Active Wireless Subscribers) for April 2023 was barely 51.73 percent, which shows that nearly half of its consumers are not using the network. The VLR for MTNL was 27.52 percent.

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The Union Cabinet has recently approved the third revival package for Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). This complete package, which would cost a total of Rs 89,047 crore, intends to revive BSL and establish it as a dependable telecom service provider with a particular interest and emphasis on enhancing connectivity in rural parts of India.

The first revival package, totaling Rs 69,000 crore, was approved in 2019, marking the beginning of the process to revive BSNL and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL). Following which , the government approved the second rejuvenation package in 2022, totaling Rs. 1.64 lakh crore. 

The telco is not doing well and keeps losing customers to private telecom companies. By October or November 2023, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will stop losing subscribers, according to telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. The company would be able to give the private telecom carriers in the coming year fierce competition, the minister said in addition to announcing the third relief package. "Once the rollout of 4G and 5G takes place, the company will stop losing its subscribers," he claimed.

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A notable component of the relief package is the transfer of shares to BSNL in exchange for the 4G/5G spectrum. As part of the rehabilitation plan, BSNL is expected to see a large increase in authorized capital, going from Rs. 1,50,000 crore to Rs. 2,10,000 crore.

BSNL/MTNL lost wireless subscribers in all circles in April 2023, with the exception of Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh East, and West Bengal, according to TRAI data. The contributions, even in these circles, are inconsistent. Only three states, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal saw constant subscriber growth from January to the present.

Even without considering 4G or 5G, users only expect proper voice or high-quality 2G services from BSNL, which these subscriber numbers have already demonstrated, whether or not BSNL is able to deliver. At a time when Airtel and Jio are rapidly deploying their 5G services nationwide, if the rate of subscriber attrition continues, BSNL will soon have less than 100 million subscribers, possibly even in the two-digit million subscriber zone.

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