State-run telecom operator Bharatiya Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) plans to invest Rs4,000 crore in this financial year to expand its mobile network, which among other things involves the installation of 8,700 telecom towers.
''As part of our Phase 7 expansion plans, we are planning to invest Rs4,000 crore on mobile network. We will be installing 8,700 mobile towers of which 50 per cent will be 3G,'' BSNL chairman and managing director R K Upadhyay said in New Delhi today.
He added that the network expansion is under way and likely to be completed by March next Year.
The company has already placed orders for procuring equipment for the north and south zones and it would place a contract for the east zone soon.
The public sector undertaking is aiming to strengthen its position in the industry. BSNLwhich is currently the fifth largest player in terms of mobile phone subscribers, and is aiming to reach the top in coming years.
The company last year started nationwide expansion of its network after a gap of around five years.
BSNL has 14.56 per cent market share with around 9.71 crore mobile subscribers at end of May, as per GSM industry body COAI.
The PSU, which is suffering losses since 2009-10, showed some signs of recovery last fiscal.
BSNL losses, as per unaudited results, stood at Rs8,198 crore for 2012-13, compared to Rs8,851 crore in 2011-12.
The figure does not include around Rs2,700 crore which the company has to get from the government for supporting rural landline operations.