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MTNL Shifts to BSNL Amid Financial Struggles

The government-owned telecom company MTNL is struggling to keep up in the race against private players like Jio, Airtel, and Vodafone-Idea. MTNL, once a significant player, is now facing a decline. The government has ceased MTNL’s independent operations, and customers can no longer recharge directly with MTNL. Instead, MTNL’s operations, including recharges, will now be managed by BSNL. Additionally, MTNL employees are being offered VRS (Voluntary Retirement Scheme).

The government plans to restructure MTNL’s massive debt of ₹30,000 crores before fully transferring its operations to BSNL. Although MTNL is not officially shut down, its independent existence is being phased out, and its services will continue under BSNL’s control. The government is also planning to offer VRS to MTNL’s 3,000 employees or transfer them to BSNL. Due to MTNL’s deteriorating financial health, its operations are being handed over to BSNL.

To support both state-run companies, the government has provided a relief package of ₹3.22 lakh crores since 2019 and has offered a revival VRS plan to reduce costs. Once MTNL’s operations are merged, BSNL will manage telecom services nationwide, and the government expects better results.

While private telecom companies rapidly advance in the 4G and 5G race, offering fast internet and better calling services, government-run companies are struggling. Both MTNL and BSNL have fallen behind in this technological race, losing customer bases as a result. Reliance Jio leads the market with a 40.48% share, followed by Bharti Airtel at 33.12%, and Vodafone-Idea at 18.77%. In comparison, BSNL holds only 7.46%, and MTNL a mere 0.16%.