As per latest reports, state-owned telcos BSNL and MTNL are looking to make a foray into cable TV and broadcasting services to pull themselves up from the losses they have been incurring.
Reportedly, Group of Ministers is expected to look into a DoT proposal today that may set the ball rolling for the telcos. Official sources have confirmed that the Department of Telecom (DoT) has forwarded several suggestions to the Group of Ministers headed by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, one of which is BSNL and MTNL’s plans of entering this new segment.
DoT has sought the GoM nod for “exploring new business opportunity being created by the convergence of services and networks across telecom (value-added services and Internet telephony), information, cable TV and broadcasting media services,” as per sources.
Looking to explore new arenas ( Image credit: indolinkenglish.wordpress.com)
The GoM is scheduled to meet for the first time today to discuss the proposals on revival of the two PSUs. Its recommendations will then be placed before the Cabinet for a final decision.
BSNL losses, as per estimates, are expected to be about Rs 8,198 crore, while MTNL's are around Rs 3,300 crore for the financial year 2012-13.
In fact, sources said that DoT has proposed to the GoM to offer financial support to BSNL and MTNL for retaining airwaves beyond the initial quantity that was allocated to them for mobile and other wireless services. The government has decided to charge one-time spectrum fee for airwaves held by operators beyond the initial allocation for starting mobile services.
Reportedly, one-time fee amounts to around Rs 6,912 crore for BSNL's GSM spectrum and Rs 3,205 crore for MTNL. The GoM may also consider the proposal of the two companies to surrender wireless broadband spectrum. BSNL and MTNL were asked to pay Rs 8,313.8 crore and Rs 4,533.97 crore, respectively, on June 20, 2010 for the airwaves that are being currently used to provide 4G services.