Indian telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) wants to grow its market share to 20 percent for mobile subscribers by the end of 2024.

The operator said it will achieve the target by deploying its 4G service to 100,000 base stations this year, per a report in the Financial Express.

India towers
– Getty Images

As of October, BSNL's market share for mobile subscribers sits at around eight percent.

The operator has more than 92 million customers, however, this has been in decline for the last 22 months, with the telco losing more than 21 million connections during this period.

Reliance Jio with 39.3 percent leads the way, followed by Airtel at 32.85 percent and debt-ridden Vodafone Idea at 19.6 percent, per Trai data.

“2024 will be a crucial year for us to expand our 4G services on 100,000 BTS (base transceiver stations)," said BSNL chairman and managing director (CMD) PK Purwar.

"We have installed nearly 2,000 BTS in Punjab and Haryana. Uttar Pradesh (East), Uttar Pradesh (West), Uttarakhand, and Himachal are also seeing new equipment getting installed."

Purwar told the publication that BSNL hopes to launch 5G services next year.

The company expects to deploy 4G services to 50,000 of its towers by July.

State-owned BSNL filed a purchase order worth nearly $900 million last year to buy equipment for its 4G and 5G rollout from local provider Tejas.

Tejas specializes in optical, broadband, and networking products and services, and is now owned by Tata Sons, the parent company of Tata Group.

In 2022, the government said it would work to restrict non-Indian telecom vendors from playing a pivotal role in 4G and 5G modernization projects of its state-run operators, BSNL and MTNL.