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BSNL vs. VSNL: What's the Difference?

By Janet White & Harlon Moss || Published on May 2, 2024
BSNL, a state-owned telecommunication company in India, offers nationwide services except Delhi and Mumbai. VSNL, now Tata Communications, focused on international telecommunications and internet services.

Key Differences

BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited) is an Indian state-owned telecommunications company providing comprehensive telecom services across India, excluding Delhi and Mumbai. It offers a range of services from broadband to mobile telephony. VSNL (Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited), rebranded as Tata Communications, initially focused on international telecommunication and internet services, playing a pivotal role in global connectivity.
BSNL was established to improve domestic telecom services, ensuring connectivity across India's vast geography, VSNL was aimed at establishing and managing India's international telecommunications. Post-privatization, VSNL expanded its focus to include a wide array of telecom and internet services globally.
BSNL's customer base is predominantly within India, catering to rural and urban areas alike, making it one of the largest providers of fixed telephony. On the other hand, Tata Communications (formerly VSNL) serves a global clientele, focusing on enterprises and offering services like data hosting and cloud computing.
The funding and operational models of BSNL and VSNL (Tata Communications) also differ. BSNL relies on government support and revenue from its services within India. Conversely, Tata Communications operates on a global scale, engaging in partnerships and investments worldwide to enhance its service offerings.
BSNL has been pivotal in rolling out 4G services in India and expanding broadband connectivity, including in rural areas. Tata Communications, however, has focused on high-speed internet services, undersea cable networks, and leading-edge technology like cloud solutions, showcasing a more international and corporate-oriented approach.

Comparison Chart


1986, rebranded in 2008

Focus Area

Domestic telecom services
International telecommunications and internet

Customer Base

Predominantly Indian, rural and urban
Global, mainly enterprises

Service Range

Mobile telephony, broadband, fixed line
Data hosting, cloud computing, undersea cables

Operational Model

State-owned, government-funded
Privatized, focuses on global investments

BSNL and VSNL Definitions


Offers services like broadband, mobile telephony, and fixed line.
BSNL's broadband services are popular in rural India.


Offers services like cloud computing and data hosting.
Many multinational companies rely on Tata Communications for cloud services.


Known for its wide rural network.
BSNL ensures connectivity even in remote areas of India.


Operates a significant portion of the world's internet backbone.
Tata Communications ensures global internet connectivity through its vast network.


Provides nationwide coverage excluding Delhi and Mumbai.
BSNL's network spans across all Indian states except two.


Initially India's international telecommunication provider.
VSNL managed India's overseas communication links.


Operates under the Ministry of Communications.
BSNL's policies and operations are overseen by the government.


Focuses on enterprise and global markets.
Tata Communications is a key player in undersea cable networks.


A government-owned telecommunication company in India.
BSNL provides affordable mobile services across India.


Rebranded as Tata Communications in 2008.
Tata Communications now offers a wide range of modern telecom services.


What was VSNL, and what is it now?

VSNL was India's international telecommunication services provider, rebranded as Tata Communications, focusing on global telecommunications and internet services.

How do BSNL and Tata Communications differ in their service offerings?

BSNL primarily provides domestic telecom services, while Tata Communications focuses on global enterprise services like cloud computing and undersea cable networks.

Which company provides better internet services, BSNL or Tata Communications?

The answer depends on the context; BSNL is preferred for domestic use, while Tata Communications is better for global enterprise services.

What is BSNL?

BSNL is an Indian state-owned telecommunications company offering services like mobile telephony and broadband across India, except in Delhi and Mumbai.

Can BSNL customers use their services internationally?

BSNL offers international roaming services, but its primary focus remains on domestic connectivity.

How has BSNL contributed to India's telecommunications?

BSNL has played a crucial role in expanding telecommunications access across India, including remote and rural areas.

Is BSNL privatized?

No, BSNL remains a state-owned enterprise, unlike Tata Communications, which has been privatized.

What type of customers does Tata Communications primarily serve?

Tata Communications primarily serves global enterprises, offering services that support international business operations.

Can Tata Communications' services be used by individuals?

While primarily focused on enterprises, certain Tata Communications services are accessible to individuals, especially in international communications.

How does Tata Communications support global internet connectivity?

Through its extensive network of undersea cables and partnerships, Tata Communications supports a significant portion of the world's internet backbone.

Does Tata Communications offer services in India?

Yes, Tata Communications offers services in India, focusing on enterprise solutions and global connectivity.

What are the challenges BSNL faces in the telecommunications market?

BSNL faces challenges such as competition from private players, technological upgrades, and financial sustainability.

How does Tata Communications contribute to cloud computing?

Tata Communications offers cloud services and solutions, facilitating businesses in their digital transformation and global operations.

What strategic advantages does Tata Communications have over BSNL?

Tata Communications' strategic advantages include its global reach, focus on enterprise solutions, and a wide array of modern telecommunications and IT services, positioning it strongly in the international market compared to BSNL's primarily domestic focus.

What significant changes occurred when VSNL was rebranded to Tata Communications?

The rebranding marked a strategic shift towards global telecommunications services, including cloud solutions and undersea cable networks.

How do the operational models of BSNL and Tata Communications differ?

BSNL operates on government support within India, while Tata Communications engages in global telecommunications and internet services.

Is it true that BSNL does not operate in Delhi and Mumbai?

Yes, BSNL does not operate in Delhi and Mumbai; these areas are serviced by MTNL, another state-owned telecom service provider.

What makes BSNL unique in the Indian telecommunications market?

BSNL's extensive reach in rural areas and its role as a government-owned entity make it unique in India's telecommunications landscape.

How has BSNL's introduction of 4G services impacted its market position in India?

The introduction of 4G services by BSNL is aimed at enhancing its competitive edge in the market, offering faster data speeds and improved service quality to its customers.

What role does Tata Communications play in the global telecommunications industry?

Tata Communications plays a crucial role as a leader in global connectivity, offering services like undersea cables, cloud computing, and data hosting, significantly impacting the global telecommunications infrastructure.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Co-written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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