Easing conditions: Global, local firms to bid for BSNL’s 4G tender

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April 7, 2021 5:00 AM

Global telecom gear makers, including Nokia, Ericsson and Samsung, can now bid for a part of BSNL's upcoming 4G tender without any hindrance as the government has dropped a key clause.

The company which is under heavy debt also introduced three new DSL broadband plans which have been priced at Rs 299, Rs. 399, and Rs. 555. All the three internet plans come with the speed of 10Mbps.The company which is under heavy debt also introduced three new DSL broadband plans which have been priced at Rs 299, Rs. 399, and Rs. 555. All the three internet plans come with the speed of 10Mbps.

Global telecom gear makers, including Nokia, Ericsson and Samsung, can now bid for a part of BSNL’s upcoming 4G tender without any hindrance as the government has dropped a key clause. Sources said firms interested in the project need not deposit their source code for core and radio network in an escrow account as was earlier required.

Though most Indian players who have firmed up plans to bid for BSNL’s tender under a system integrator model, also wanted the clause to be removed, it opens the field for global players also. Generally, global players do not want to deposit their source code in any escrow account as it is a proprietary technology and therefore, poses a business risk. The Indian firms had also sought the removal of this clause because under the system integrator model they would also need to source the code from some global vendor. Since the global vendors work with several players, they generally do not agree to deposit their source code with any third party.

As reported earlier by FE, the department of telecommunications (DoT) has given its nod to BSNL, which has been approved by the empowered technology group (ETG) also, to split its tender for rollout of 4G services into two parts. The company had suggested that as part of the split, Part A comprising 50,000 sites should be strictly reserved for domestic vendors. In parallel it should be allowed to float another tender – Part B – for the remaining 50,000 sites which should be like the usual tender where global companies like Nokia, Ericsson and others could participate.

With the depositing of the source code in an escrow account no longer mandatory even global firms like Nokia, Ericcson or Samsung can now participate in Part A of the tender for radio network. Earlier they would have needed to deposit the source code to become eligible on which they were not keen. BSNL has been concerned over the delay in finalising the 4G tender which is more than a year behind schedule.

The company had expressed its inability to meet some of the onerous conditions recommended by a government-appointed committee with regard to giving preference to domestic vendors in building the network.

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