BSNL earmarks Rs 4,300-crpre capex for FY18, plans 75k wifi sites

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State-run BSNL has earmarked around Rs 4,300 crore for capital expenditure in the current fiscal and plans to have 75,000 wifi hotspots by end of the next fiscal. “BSNL presence is must for healthy competition in the industry and benefit of consumers. They have installed around 5,000 wifi hotspots, going to install 35,000 more wifi hotspots this fiscal and planning another 35,000 to provide quality service to consumers,” Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said at a book release and network expansion function of the company. He said that BSNL has been very competitive and supportive for consumers in past few days of fierce competition in the telecom sector.

“If we see data usage of past few days in the country, I believe we may have surpassed data usage level by consumers in the US and China. People were paying earlier Rs 200 per GB for data and now they are getting 1 GB for around Rs 10. This is good for consumers,” Sinha said. BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava said the company has installed around 5,000 wifi hotspots in partnership with two private companies but for next 35,000 wifi hotspots, the company will invest Rs 600 crore in this fiscal. “L&T has won contract for rolling out 20,000 wifi hotspots and HFCL will install another 15,000 hotspots. We have provision for 100 per cent expansion of wifi hotspots in next fiscal too but the cost will be less,” Shrivastava said.

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He said the wifi hotspots will have a common equipment that will be linked to BSNL’s mobile network and will be used for providing 4G service by the company. “We have total capex plan of about Rs 4,300 crore for this fiscal. We are annually spending around Rs 4,000 crore in capex from our own resources. This does not include funds that we get from the government for other projects,” Shrivastava said. The Telecom Minister released fourth edition of Healing the Future book by BSNL Chief Vigilance Officer Deepak Kashyap on yoga and spirituality.