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The BSNL Employees Union has requested the government to use Vodafone Idea Limited's network to provide 4G services to BSNL customers. This is because there has been a delay in BSNL's own 4G launch. The Union is concerned that this delay is affecting BSNL's financial revival, as competitors like Reliance Jio and Airtel are attracting BSNL's customers with their 5G technology.

The Union suggests utilizing Vodafone Idea Limited's network because the government is the largest stakeholder in the company. Currently, the Government of India holds a 33.1% stake in Vodafone Idea Limited (Vi).

The Union requests that the government, as the largest shareholder in Vi, ensures that BSNL is allowed to immediately provide 4G service to its customers by utilizing Vi's 4G network. This would be a temporary measure until BSNL's own 4G network is commissioned by TCS. The Union also highlights the customer exodus from BSNL's network, with subscribers porting to other telecom operators.

According to TRAI data, 22,20,654 customers ported out from BSNL in August 2023, and an additional 23,26,751 customers did so in September 2023. This is due to the non-availability of high-speed data service with BSNL, as the company has not yet launched its 4G service. The Union also questions TCS for delaying the supply of equipment to BSNL for the rollout of 4G services. BSNL has placed an order worth Rs 19,000 crore with the TCS consortium and ITI for deploying 100,000 4G tower sites across the country.

The Union is concerned that the commissioning of BSNL's 4G network by TCS may be further delayed. BSNL is struggling to launch 4G while private telcos like Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel are rapidly deploying 5G networks. The CMD of BSNL, P K Purwar, has stated that BSNL's 4G service will be launched in December 2024.

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