"We have done soft launch of 4G service in Chandigarh. It is non-commercial service as of now. It will be open for limited number of BSNL employees, while customers can visit the 4G centre to experience it," BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava told PTI.
The company's local ads are promising broadband speed of up to 100 mbps on its Long Term Evolution (LTE) based 4G mobile service.
BSNL has 4G spectrum across India except in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kolkata.
"BSNL is first to start the 4G service in 2500 Mhz band.
We have been running proof of concept and now we have decided to expand. Next month we will issue request for proposal (RFP) to launch 4G services across circles where we have 2500 Mhz spectrum on revenue share basis," Shrivastava said.
The company selected through RFP will manage the networks while BSNL would share its revenue the successful bidder. It has been expanding its footprint on this model wherein it provides only bandwidth and the infrastructure is set up by its partner.
Shrivastava said that company is in discussions with Reliance Jio to offer 4G to its customers using their network.
"We have done some testing with Reliance Jio. As per discussions, they will use our 2G and 3G network to offer service to their customers and we are looking to offer 4G services to BSNL customers using their network," Shrivastava said.
He said that some technical issues regarding inter- operability between two networks is pending that are expected to be sorted out very soon.
"Once these issues are sorted out we will take call on final agreement with Reliance Jio very soon. This will be subject to approval from (telecom) ministry," Shrivastava said.
He said that BSNL will largely look at Wi-Fi hotspot to provide 4G services to its customers.
"We have established 620 Wi-Fi hotpsots at present and will be able to complete 2500 Wi-Fi hotspots by end of this financial year. By end of next fiscal, we will take the total number to 40,000. All this will be based on revenue share and capital expenditure model," Shrivastava said.
The company after about 4 years of reporting losses, posted an operating profit of Rs. 672 crore for the financial year 2014-15 compared to an operating loss of Rs. 691 crore in the previous fiscal.