BSNL has written to the government seeking 5MHz block on 700 MHz band through equity route for the roll-out of 4G network, chairman and managing director Anupam Shrivastava said while addressing reporters in Chennai on Saturday.
''We are seeking financial support from the government in this regard,'' he said.
He made the remarks in the context of requirement of additional spectrum to reach out to the entire country following the digital initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The premium block had been put up for auction earlier this year, but failed to attract many players due to the high cost.
According to commentators, BSNL had not been keen on 4G as a SWOT analysis had shown that it did not have the right kind of spectrum to roll out 4G. BSNL plans to take on 4G services competition from other operators with WiFi hotspots in the country. ''We are planning 40,000 of them. They are 4G hotspots,'' he said.
He further added that BSNL had got 2,500 MHz spectrum from the union government and was seeking expression of interest from private operators to join hands with the company.
Meanwhile, BSNL has taken on Reliance Jio competition by offering unlimited free call facility at a cost of Rs144 after Reliance Jio offered Rs149 entry plan in India.
According to Srivastava, the Rs144 plan also included additional 300MB free data to the users and was valid for both postpaid and prepaid BSNL customers. He further revealed that BSNL also planned to unveil classic LTE (Long Term Evolution) spectrum across the country very soon, in a phased manner.