State-owned telecommunication company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has invited bids from equipment makers to add 31.02 million new users of its 3G/4G services across the country.
According to the tender document, the company will accept bids for new equipment purchase till July 1. The company did not mention the value of the contract to be given out, but industry sources said the purchase is estimated to be worth more than $1 billion.
The new tender comes at a time when BSNL is focused on expansions and aims to turn profitable by 2020. BSNL had an operating profit of Rs 672 crore during the last fiscal, while its revenue grew 4.16% to Rs28,645 crore.
The new equipment is crucial for BSNL to add new users. The company had lagged behind in subscriber addition amid tough competition from private operators such as Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone India that have been adding new users at a faster pace.
However, things have improved in the past two years with BSNL planning to go in for a phased tendering system to add new users and expand networks.