BSNL plans to lease CDMA network, hive off towers into separate company

BSNL plans to lease CDMA network, hive off towers into separate company
Loss-making state telecom firm BSNL has drawn a blueprint to garner an estimated Rs. 8,000 crore revenue through monetisation of its vast real estate as well has hiving off its tower arm over the next five years.

Sources said BSNL outlined its blueprint to turn profitable in a presentation to Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal.

The proposals include utilisation of its real estate, monetising of towers assets, utilisation of its factories for revenue generation, providing broadband connectivity to schools and leasing out its CDMA network.

Sibal has asked BSNL to submit plans that will help the company turn profitable.

BSNL's losses have more than tripled to Rs. 5,997 crore during 2010-11. The company had registered a net loss of Rs. 1,823 crore during 2009-10.

In a presentation, BSNL said its tower assets can be monetised by forming a separate company or adopting any other business model.

The company is expecting a revenue of Rs. 1,600 crore over five years by leasing out spare capacity to other operators.

The state-run service provider has over 70,000 towers across India. BSNL has tower sharing pacts with many private telecom operators.

In real estate, BSNL has about 4,400 hectare of total land bank. In order to monetise the real estate, it has taken up a pilot project for commercial exploitation of 10 lands.

The telco is expecting a revenue of Rs. 250 crore as upfront value during 2013-14 and Rs. 250 crore from rental income from 2016-17 onwards from these properties.

BSNL has seven telecom factories where it plans to set up manufacturing facilities of electronic equipment in partnership

with other manufacturers, which can generate a revenue of Rs. 500 crore.

The state-run firm has proposed to roll out wi-fi enabled hot spots across the country to provide high-speed Internet services at public places such as malls, IT parks, airports and hospitals. This can bring in a revenue of Rs. 25 crore in each zone in first year and Rs. 50 crore in each zone from second year onwards.

The telco also plans to connect 1.5 million schools in the country through high-speed data network. It will charge Rs. 5,000 for one connection which can garner Rs. 750 crore for the firm annually.

The state-run firm is exploring the possibility of imparting training to people using its expertise and infrastructure which can bring in a revenue of Rs. 200 crore over a period of five years.

As part of National Policy of Skill Development, the government has envisioned a target of training 50 crore people by 2022 in different sectors.

Apart from that, BSNL proposes to offer high definition video conferencing to public and further exploiting the potential of its existing CDMA network, which can rake in another Rs. 250 crore.


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