An Indian government minister reportedly detailed plans for state-run operator BSNL to make a move into 4G following several years of hold-ups.

The Economic Times (ET) reported Minister of State for Communication Devusinh Chauhan revealed the government plans to begin the process of buying network equipment in April, with a view to commencing commercial services in August or September.

Chauhan told the newspaper proof-of-concept (PoC) trials were due to have been completed by 31 January. ET wrote BSNL tapped a consortium backed by Tata Consultancy Services in mid-2021 to conduct networks tests, with its most recent work conducted along with a government-backed R&D centre.

BSNL aims to deploy 50,000 4G mobile sites in urban and suburban areas in the first phase of its deployment, with the network ultimately set to comprise 90,000 sites, ET reported.

ET stated BSNL’s 4G plans have been in limbo for close to six years. It noted the operator had requested 2500MHz spectrum in 2015.