In an effort to stem the tide of users shifting away from its services, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), India’s state-run telecom company, is making strategic moves to retain its customer base.

A significant number of mobile users are transitioning to private operators like Airtel and Jio, leading to a decline in BSNL’s subscriber numbers. To counteract this trend, BSNL has proposed a unique plan to the government.

BSNL’s Proposal to the Government:

BSNL has reached out to the government with a request to allow the utilization of Vodafone Idea’s 4G network for its services. Given that the government holds the largest shareholding in Vodafone Idea, approximately 33.1%, this collaboration could feasibly be implemented.

BSNL argues that leveraging Vodafone Idea’s network could expedite the rollout of 4G services across India, especially in regions where BSNL’s network presence is lacking.

Addressing the Shift to Competitors:

BSNL acknowledges that the absence of 4G services is a primary reason for its users switching to other telecom operators, which are now offering 5G services. The company believes that by using Vodafone Idea’s 4G network, it can provide its customers with competitive services and prevent further migration to rivals like Jio and Airtel.

Employee Union’s Support:

The BSNL Employee Union has also taken a step by writing to the IT Minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw, supporting the company’s request. They highlighted the strategic advantage of this move, considering the government’s significant stake in both telecom companies.

This collaboration could serve as a vital step towards strengthening BSNL’s service offerings and ensuring its competitive presence in the telecom market.


BSNL’s initiative to use Vodafone Idea’s 4G network marks a crucial strategy to retain its customer base and enhance its service capabilities. If approved, this move could significantly bolster BSNL’s position in the Indian telecom sector, offering customers improved 4G services and potentially paving the way for future advancements.

The outcome of BSNL’s proposal remains to be seen, but it represents a forward-thinking approach to overcoming the challenges faced by the state-run telecom provider.

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