Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has written to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) saying that non-investment in 2G network will put its key revenue stream at risk causing a significant disadvantage to compete in the market.

BSNL’s warning comes after recommendation from a DoT committee that no 2G equipment should be purchased by BSNL, even for replacement.  As per industry sources, the teloco wrote to the DoT after the committee refused to take telco’s concerns into account.

In its letter, BSNL said that regarding continuation of 2G services, the committee has observed that BSNL should migrate all its subscribers to 4G as 2G services are expected to go down significantly. In this context, it is mentioned that 2G subscriber base of all telecom service providers, except Reliance Jio, is still significant and cannot be ignored. As of December 2019, around 60 per cent of Vodafone Idea customers were on 2G, while Airtel had 47 per cent 2G users and BSNL close to 70 per cent. With such a significant 2G subscriber base, it is impossible to migrate to 4G-only network as substantial revenue of BSNL mobile service is from 2G customer base.