Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, d/b/a BSNL is an Indian state-owned telecommunications company, headquartered in New Delhi, Delhi, India. It was incorporated by Government of India on 1 October 2000. It provides mobile voice and internet services through its nationwide telecommunications network across India. It is the largest provider of fixed telephony with more than 60% market share. It is the fourth largest wireless telecommunications and largest wireline telecommunications network company in India.[3]

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited
State owned organization
Founded1 October 2000 (2000-10-01)
Area served
India, Mauritius
Key people
Pravin Kumar Purwar
(Chairman & MD)[1]
Revenue 19,308 crore (US$2.8 billion) (FY 2019)[2]
-14,000.00 crore (US$−2.0 billion) (FY 2019) [2]
3,879.92 crore (US$560 million) (FY 2019)[2]
Total assets 70,746.75 crore (US$10 billion) (FY 2019)[2]
OwnerGovernment of India (100%)
Members120.42 million
(September 2019)[3]
Number of employees
174,216 (2018)[2]
DivisionsBSNL Mobile
BSNL Broadband
BSNL Landline
SubsidiariesBSNL Towers Limited[4]
Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited[5]


The name Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited derives from Hindi, which means India Communications Corporation Limited in English.


Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, is the India's oldest communication company and its history can be traced back to the British India. The foundation of telecom network in India was laid by British sometime in 19th century. During the British era, 1850; the first telegraph line, was established between Calcutta and Diamond Harbour. The British East India Company started using the telegraph in 1851 and till 1854 telegraph lines were laid across the country. In 1854, the telegraph service was opened to the public and the first telegram was sent from Mumbai to Pune. In 1885, the Indian Telegraph Act was passed by the British Imperial Legislative Council. After the bifurcation of Post and Telegraph department in 1980s, The creation of Department of Telecom eventually led to the emergence of the State owned telegraph and telephone company which led to foundation of BSNL.[6][7]

It continued the telegraph services in India until it shut down telegraph services completely on 15 July 2013. After providing it for 160 years, BSNL discontinued its telegraph service on 15 July 2013. It began delivering telegrams to the public in February 1855; this service was upgraded to a web-based messaging system in 2010 and had been offered through 182 telegraph offices across India.[8][9]

Products and services

Telephone and Mobile

BSNL provides both fixed line telephones and mobile telephony services on GSM and CDMA platforms.

BSNL Mobile

BSNL Mobile is a major provider of GSM network under brand name CellOne all over India. It has wide network coverage in both urban and rural areas of India. It has over 120.42 million customers across India.[3]

BSNL Mobile offers prepaid, postpaid services and value-added services such as Free Phone Service (FPH), India Telephone Card (Prepaid card), Account Card Calling (ACC), Virtual Private Network (VPN), Tele-voting, Premium Rate Service (PRM). It also offers the IPTV which enables customers to watch television through the Internet and Voice and Video Over Internet Protocol (VVoIP).[10]

BSNL Landline

BSNL Landline was launched in early 1990's. It was the only fixed-line telephony serving for whole country before the New Telecom Policy was announced by Department of Telecom in 1999. Only the Government-owned BSNL and MTNL were allowed to provide land-line phone services through copper wire in India. BSNL Landline is the largest fixed-line telephony in India. It has over 10.41 million customers and 49.34% market share in India.[3]


BSNL is the fourth largest ISP in India, with having presence throughout the country. It also has the largest fibre-based telecom network in India around 7.5 lakh kilometers among the four operators in the country.[11]

BSNL Broadband

BSNL Broadband provides a complete telecom services solution to enterprise customers including MPLS, P2P and Internet leased lines. It provides fixedline services and landline using CDMA technology and its own extensive optical fiber network. BSNL provides Internet access services through dial-up connections as prepaid, NetOne as Postpaid and DataOne as BSNL Broadband.[12][13]

Bharat Fiber

Bharat Fiber (FTTH) was launched in February 2019. It offers TV over IP (IPTV), Video On-Demand (VoD), Audio On-Demand (AoD), Bandwidth On-Demand (BoD), Remote Education, Video Conferencing Services, Interactive Gaming, Virtual Private LAN services. BSNL said that, its huge optic fiber network provides fix access to deliver high speed internet ranging from 256 kbit/s to 100 Mbit/s.[14][15]

IP services

BSNL Wing Services

On 16 August 2018, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited has launched "BSNL Wings Services" in 22 telecom circles. In which, there is no need of SIM card or cable wiring as is a VoIP service through an app.[16] It offers unlimited free calling for one year throughout India.[17]

Administrative units

BSNL vertical divisions

BSNL is primarily divided into three verticals

  • BSNL - Consumer Fixed Access (CFA), wire line and broadband business
  • BSNL - Consumer Mobility (CM), wireless business, primarily 3G GSM services. WLL services which were widely deployed are being phased out
  • BSNL - Enterprise Business, Enterprise customers on turnkey basis
  • Other than these three verticals, there are electrical wings and civil wings which takes care of real estate monetization also.

BSNL horizontal divisions

Horizantally, BSNL is divided into a number of administrative units, variously known as: telecom circles, metro districts, project circles and specialized units. It has 24 telecom circles, two metro districts, six project circles, four maintenance regions, five telecom factories, three training institutions and four specialized telecom units.[18] Each circle is being headed by the Chief General Manager(CGM) who is an officer of Indian Telecom Service(ITS). The organisational structure of BSNL is as follows: Chief General Manager being the head of the Circle who is the officer of HAG+ level, assisted by three or four Principal General Manager(PGM) who is the officer of grade HAG.The districts over a circle is being headed by the designations as General Manager officer of grade of SAG who looks over around two to four districts, while where the connections are less and the smaller district is being headed by Telecom District Manager(TDM) Officer of the grade of JAG and Telecom Divisional Engineer(TDE) officer of STS grade, all the officers above the post of TDE(including TDE) are of Group A and they are the officers of grade of Indian Telecom Service(ITS) directly or promotive. Then the Group B consists of Additional Divisional Engineer, Sub Divisional Engineer and Junior Telecom officer and then the organisation has Group C and D employees.

Merger and Acquisitions

On the 24th of October 2019, the Government of India announced revival package for BSNL and MTNL which includes monetising assets, raising funds, TD-LTE spectrum, voluntary retirement scheme for employees. Apart from package, Ministry of Communications decided to merge of MTNL with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited. Pending this, MTNL will be subsidiary of BSNL.[5][19][20][21]


Cyber Attack

In July 2017, BSNL had a cyber attack which affected south India, especially Karnataka, when a malware affected Telco's broadband network using a modem having default passwords.[22] This virus reportedly affected 60,000 modems and blocked internet connectivity. Later BSNL issued an advisory notice to its broadband customers, urging them to change their default router username and passwords.

See also


  1. "MTNL-chairman-purwar-to-assume-additional-charge-as-BSNL-cmd". livemint. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  2. "Annual Report 2018-19". Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited. 31 March 2019. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
  3. "Press Release on Telecom Subscription Data as on 30 September, 2019" (PDF). Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. 19 November 2019.
  4. "Cabinet allows, BSNL to sell tower assets". Economic Times. 18 September 2017.
  5. "MTNL to be a BSNL subsidiary". The Hindu. 29 June 2019.
  6. "About us". BSNL, LLC. 17 November 2019.
  7. "BSNL History". BSNL Teleservices. 17 November 2019.
  8. "BSNL decides to discontinue 160-year-old telegram service". The Times of India. 12 June 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  9. Joshi, Sandeep (12 June 2013). "Dot, dash, full stop: Telegram service ends July 15". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  10. (9) Comments. "BSNL Launches VVoIP". Retrieved 17 September 2012.
  11. "BSNL plans to monitise fibre network". The Economic Times. 18 April 2019.
  12. BSNL Broadband Archived 24 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  13. NetOne Archived 3 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  14. "Bharat Fiber FTTH Overview". BSNL, LLC. 17 February 2019.
  15. "BSNL Bharat Fiber FTTH, Everything you need to know". India Today. 6 February 2019.
  16. "BSNL offers wings services". NDTV. 2 February 2019.
  17. "BSNL Wings Services launched in 22 telecom circles". BSNL. 29 June 2019.
  18. "BSNL Units". Archived from the original on 6 September 2012.
  19. "Government approves Revival package for BSNL, MTNL". Economic Times. 23 October 2019.
  20. "BSNL, MTNL to be merged, along with special package". India Today. 23 October 2019.
  21. "BSNL, MTNL to be merged, centre lines up rs 70000 crore revival package". Times of India. 29 October 2019.
  22. Techdesk (28 July 2018). "BSNL asks 2000 users to change modem password after malware attack". Indian Express. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
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