BSNL 4G tender: Department of telecommunications forms committee

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Published: June 24, 2020 1:20 AM

Apart from that, the Niti Aayog has also proposed that locally designed and manufactured telecom products should be procured by BSNL for its 4G rollout.

he panel will help BSNL in refining the technical specifications of the tender for 4G services and also recommend core domestic network components that can be deployed in BSNL network.The panel will help BSNL in refining the technical specifications of the tender for 4G services and also recommend core domestic network components that can be deployed in BSNL network.

The department of telecommunications (DoT) has formed a committee to recommend technical specifications for the revised BSNL 4G tender. The eight-member committee, to be headed by DoT member (technology) K Ramchand, will examine and recommend modifications to the technical specifications prepared by BSNL for the tender. The panel will help BSNL in refining the technical specifications of the tender for 4G services and also recommend core domestic network components that can be deployed in BSNL network.

The DoT has already decided to rework or cancel the existing BSNL 4G tender, which was issued in March. A complaint was made by the Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council (TEPC) to the government stating that BSNL had not followed the public procurement (preference to make in India) norms for the tender. The main concern raised by TEPC was that conditions were formed in such a manner that no Indian company could participate.

Apart from that, the Niti Aayog has also proposed that locally designed and manufactured telecom products should be procured by BSNL for its 4G rollout.

According to sources, the committee is expected to give its recommendations within two weeks, after which the terms of the tender will be changed.

It must be mentioned that Niti Aayog is spearheading a move to make India self-reliant in telecom equipment space. The Aayog had organised a meeting on June 5 to deliberate on the possibility of deploying the 4G network of BSNL using indigenously-designed, developed and manufactured (IDDM) products. The meeting was attended by many local vendors in the telecom space like Tech Mahindra, Tejas Networks, Saankhya Labs, Signalchip, VNL, etc and these companies discussed about their products. After the meeting it was decided that BSNL and the DoT must trust the Indian ecosystem and must provide opportunity to build locally-designed and manufactured 4G products.

In the wake of the anti-China sentiment, the committee will also deliberate whether to invoke clause 10(d) of the Make in India norms notified in 2017. As per the clause, if a nodal ministry is satisfied that Indian suppliers of an item are not allowed to participate or compete in procurement by any foreign government, it may restrict bidders from that country. So far, the government has not taken a call to ban Chinese firms like Huawei and ZTE from participating.

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