BSNL turns net gainer in MNP, to launch 4G at year-end

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, the publicly owned telecom operator, is now ‘MNP positive’, its chairman and managing director Anupam Shrivastava said, without giving details.

“BSNL’s MNP ratio is positive,” Shrivastava said at a customer interaction event today.

It is not clear whether the executive was talking about all-time figures or monthly or yearly numbers.

In the first eight months of 2011, for example, BSNL had a net loss of 2.6 lakh customers via mobile number portability or MNP. MNP was started in 2011.

Over the next five years, the total net loss of subscribers from BSNL had jumped ten times to 2.5 mln as of April last year, according to a report by Kotak Institutional Equities reported.

Though it is not impossible to bridge that gap — Shrivastava said BSNL was seeing gross subscriber additions of around 2 mln per month — it is likely that he may have been referring to a yearly run rate.

Even if it is a yearly run-rate, it would mark a significant achievement for the beleaguered operator that was on the verge of bankruptcy two years ago.


Shrivastava also said that his company will launch 4G services towards the end of the year.

The company had got hold of 4G spectrum six years ago, but has been unable to deploy it due to financial constraints.

Meanwhile most of its rivals have already deployed their networks. To compete, BSNL has been forced to reduce its tariffs for 3G data services.

It recently doubled the data allowance on its most popular 11 3G data plans.