BSNL 4G launch date, availability, plans, SIM card price, and everything else we know so far

The BSNL 4G network launch in India has long been overdue. At a time when other telcos are gearing up for a 5G launch, BSNL is still on the 3G network. However, this could all change soon. The state-owned telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is slated to take the 4G network live in the country later this year. This will come as a relief to millions of BSNL customers who are stuck with slow 3G services. The 4G services launch will also help the telco compete better with rivals like Airtel, Vi, and Jio. Here’s everything we know about BSNL 4G plans:

BSNL 4G launch date

BSNL 4G India launch will happen on the Independence day 2022 i.e. August 15th, announced Rajkumar Upadhyay, the executive director and chairman of the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT). “I am happy to report that soon you will hear the good news that we are going to complete this job, and soon this network will be deployed in BSNL network. It will not be 4G alone. 5G NSA (non-standalone access) will be deployed by Independence Day this year,” Upadhyay said. This is likely to be a countrywide launch, meaning the services will be available in all regions at launch.

For the unaware, the state-owned telecom has rolled out its 4G services only in a few select cities across India at the moment. Several reports also cite that, although the 4G network is complete, there are some pending commercial agreements said to come in place in the coming months. Once that is done, the 4G launch is not far away.

BSNL has partnered with IT services and consultancy company Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to build its 4G network and run trials in Chandigarh and Ambala in Northern India. The telco’s consumer mobility director Sushil Kumar Mishra has said that the BSNL 4G services will run on made in Indian technologies. The company has plans to build 1 lakh telecom towers in India of which at least 4000 will be in Bihar.

BSNL 4G availability

As part of its trial phase, BSNL has already made its 4G services available in several Southern and Northern states of India. Initially, the telco began the rollout in the South Zone of Coimbatore around February 2020. Over the time period, the network spread to more adjoining states and circles such as Chennai, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Moreover, just like the private telecom players, the 4G services offered by BSNL also support VoLTE, which provides the users with an enhanced calling experience.

BSNL 4G is said to expand to more states and cities across India as soon as it makes an official announcement of the same in the coming months.

BSNL 4G recharge plans

Currently, BSNL offers a plethora of recharge plans across various price points with benefits such as unlimited voice calling, internet data pack as well as SMS freebies. While these plans mostly offer 3G internet, the regions which are part of BSNL’s 4G trials have seen no changes in pricing. This means once the countrywide 4G rollout takes place one can expect BSNL 4G plans prices and benefits to remain the same as they are despite up-gradation in the technology offered. BSNL’s recharge plans currently undercut the plans offered by Jio, Airtel and Vi in terms of pricing.

BSNL 4G speed

BSNL 4G speed
Image courtesy: Trak.in

BSNL 4G speed is likely to be on par with Airtel, Jio, and Vi’s 4G speed. The telco was able to deliver speeds of up to 20Mbps, during the trial period. That said, we have to keep in mind that the network is limited to a handful of users at the moment. The speed may vary in the real world when the BSNL 4G services start rolling out to a wider audience.

BSNL 4G SIM card price

BSNL 4G sim card

In order to use the 4G network and its services such as VoLTE and WiFi calling, a SIM up-gradation is required in case you’re using a 3G or 2G SIM. The same is the case with BSNL where its 4G SIM comes at a nominal price of Rs 20.

However, the telco runs promotional offers from time to time where you can swap your current 3G SIM with 4G for free of cost. The up-gradation can be done by visiting any nearby BSNL customer service centre or store provided you have a 4G compatible mobile phone. Also, make sure to carry valid identity proofs to be presented in front of the customer executive to initiate your 4G upgrade process.

Can you order BSNL 4G SIM online?

As of now, there’s no option to officially order a BSNL 4G SIM card online like other private service providers in the country. You’ll have to visit a BSNL store in order to get a 4G SIM and carry along KYC documents such as Aadhaar card, address proof etc. You may also be asked to fill out an application form to get a 4G SIM.

However, if you cannot find a BSNL store, there are several third-party sim delivery websites such as 10digi that deliver a brand new SIM card straight to your home by charging a small delivery fee. All you have to do is choose a preferred BSNL plan, add your delivery address and make payment. Voila! You will have your 4G BSNL SIM delivered to your doorstep.

BSNL 4G benefits

Apart from superior internet speeds and bandwidths, BSNL 4G will bring in a wider network coverage allowing people to make calls and browse through the internet in the areas where 3G signals couldn’t reach. Apart from that, 4G also takes communication a step further by introducing services such as Voice over LTE (VoLTE) for making voice calls and video over LTE (ViLTE) for making video calls. Both of these services provide enhanced, clear and crisp audio and video quality through 4G. Lastly, 4G brings in multiple levels of data security for private and safe internet usage.

BSNL 4G news

BSNL to setup 4G trial sites in these districts (April 20th)

BSNL has announced that it will soon start 4G trials in four districts of Kerela. The trials will begin in August, ahead of its launch in the country. C.V. Vinod, Chief General Manager, BSNL, Kerala Circle, told The Hindu that the TCS will begin its trial run at Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Kozhikode, and Kannur.