The state-run BSNL, the fifth largest telecom operator in terms of mobile subscribers in India, has around 1.14 lakh cell sites across the country with a wide reach in rural areas.
In addition to Reliance Jio, which has nation-wide 4G presence, Bharti Airtel, Aircel and Vodafone India have partnered with BSNL for 2G ICR services. India’s private telecom network operators are partnering with BSNL to tap its presence in rural India.
“This agreement should benefit both our customers and create a strong, seamless support for both the networks. This will also help BSNL monetise its huge network capabilities and provide high-speed mobile broadband services to our customers,” said Anupam Shrivastava, chairman and managing director of BSNL.
BSNL has vast geographical mobile coverage across the length and breadth of India (except Delhi and Mumbai), while Reliance Jio with its all-IP, end-to-end 4G-LTE network has the latest technology to offer high-speed internet services across the country. Reliance Jio 4G will be available in 18,000 cities and around 2 lakh villages.
“This agreement is a continuation of our efforts to forge partnerships with other telecom service providers to build a formidable nationwide presence. While we are creating a new-age network of our own, such agreements help our customers to stay connected while roaming,” said Sanjay Mashruwala, managing director of Reliance Jio Infocomm.