New Delhi: The Union Government is planning to merge the state-run telecom public sector undertakings (PSUs)- Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL). Both the companies have been facing stiff competition from private entities and with the new telecom policy, the Centre thought to merge both the PSUs.

Recently, both the companies lost their customers on a large scale with the unique facility of changing operator without changing number.

BSNL provides services all across the nation while MTNL provides services to metropolitan cities such as Mumbai and Delhi.

The Board for Reconstruction of Public Sector Enterprises (BRPSE) had recently recommended that MTNL and telecom equipment manufacturer ITI should be merged with the BSNL.

In the wireless market, BSNL has been continuously declining and has come down to fourth place while MTNL has almost lost its prominence in Delhi and Mumbai where cut-throat competition prevails in the market.

It has been decided if the public sector sectors undertakings are merged they will secure 12.10 per cent share in the wireless market. The Centre holds 56.25 per cent in MTNL while BSNL is 100 per cent owned by government.

The merger of BSNL and MTNL was proposed by the then Telecom Minister Pramod Mahajan during the NDA regime.