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BSNL seen scrapping another GSM mega-tender

20 сентября 2011

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is expected to abandon plans to award a contract for 15 million new GSM lines after many equipment makers declined to bid for the deal, according to a press report at the weekend.

The Indian state-owned operator has suffered many similar setbacks in recent years surrounding mobile equipment tenders. In this case, “only two or three private vendors” showed interest in the deal, an official from India's Department of Telecom (DoT) told the Economic Times.

The deal is said to be worth 50 billion-60 billion rupees (€750 million-€900 million).

The official explained that BSNL has divided the country into six zones for the purposes of this tender, rather than accepting bids for the whole country; this could explain the lack of interest from private vendors.

A spokesperson for BSNL said the telco has no immediate plans to cancel the tender, describing it as an “evolving” process.

BSNL's mobile business has fallen behind that of its major rivals, in no small part due to its inability to extend its network enough to keep up with demand.

Recent tenders have collapsed amid allegations of unfair play – Motorola was disqualified from BSNL's planned 90-million-line deal in 2007 – and controversy over the presence of China's equipment makers in the Indian market. In some cases, BSNL tried to renegotiate the price of certain contracts, citing a fall in network kit prices since it started the tender process.

All of which suggests that although BSNL at present claims that the tender process is still progressing, there are no guarantees it will go ahead. And either way, it is unlikely to be plain sailing for anyone involved.

Источник: Total Telecom

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