October 23, 2021

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BSNL proposes hybrid tender to allow easy entry of Nokia, Ericsson for 4G rollout: Report

In an attempt to provide a fair-play field to foreign and Indian telecom equipment makers, State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has proposed two alternatives to the government, Financial Express reported. Both these options advocate splitting the tender into parts.

The first option suggests that a two-part tender be floated in which Expressions of Interest (EoIs) for Part-A tender comprising 50,000 sites should be reserved for Indian companies, who may build the 4G core under a system integrator model, while a separate tender, Part-B should be floated for the remaining 50,000 sites for foreign companies such as Nokia and Ericsson.

To enable competition, BSNL suggested that Indian companies who successfully complete the trials of their technology should be allowed to participate in the technical evaluation stage of the Part-B tender.

But the Ministry of Communications (MoC) has not accepted the proposal of state-run telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to use core network equipment from multinationals such as Nokia, Ericsson, and Samsung to hasten the much-awaited commercial rollout of fourth-generation or 4G services
The second option also suggests that the tender be split into two parts with usual norms for four zones and reserve one zone for Indian companies as this will allow domestic vendors to grab a larger part of the procurement order.

The ailing telco has also said that except TCS, which has tied with C-DoT to develop core, most firms have sought a timeline of 6-8 months for the successful completion of trial runs which will lead to further delays in the rollout of its 4G services.

BSNL had earlier said that the technology provided by local vendors was not tested while an industry person privy to the matter had told ET that the Indian core touted by the state-controlled Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) is still in the developmental phase.

Report by Chetali S M
Reported on – 29/03/2021

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