Good news for BSNL users who are waiting for the launch of BSNL 4G, now the news is coming that a total of 12 companies are showing their interest and purchased the Expression of Intrest (EoI) document for the upcoming 4G tender. The government and higher officials of BSNL will hold a pre-bid meeting on Monday to clear doubts of the prospective bidders.
Last week BSNL floated an Expression of interest (EoI) for registration-cum-participation for the upcoming BSNL 4G tender for planning, engineering, supply, installation testing, commissioning, and annual maintenance of 57,000 4G sites in North, East, West, and South zones along with Delhi & Mumbai LSA of MTNL. Earlier BSNL has canceled the RFQ floated in March this year, based on an allegation from the Telecom Equipments and Services Promotional Council (TEPC) on restrictive conditions and India-China border standoff.
12 Indian as well global companies shown their interest in BSNL 4G tender
Now news coming that a total of 12 Indian, as well as global firms, have shown their interest in rolling out the 4G network of BSNL. This is very positive news for its millions of subscribers. The total 7 well-known Indian companies which shown interest are Tech Mahindra, TCS, Tejas Networks, Sterlite technologies, Larsen and Turbo, HFCL, and State-owned ITIL. The prominent global companies include Swedish company Ericsson, Finland-based Nokia, and US-based Mavenir System, and surprisingly the Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE have also expressed their interest to participate in the tender.
A pre-bid meeting will be done on Monday to clear the doubts of the prospective bidders. According to the EoI condition, the source code for the core as well as RAN should be deposited in an Escrow account. The Escrowed version of the software shall be upgraded/updated regularly and will be the same as the version in the field. Earlier, the global firms had expressed their unhappiness around the condition of keeping the source code in an escrow but now it looks like they are fine with these conditions.
In June, state-owned ITI and Tech Mahindra sign a pact to work together in the areas of 4G and 5G networks and also planning to run a fourth-generation or 4G pilot program to demonstrate high-speed data utility on the BSNL network, from that time it was speculation that tech Mahindra and ITIL will take part in upcoming BSNL 4G tender.
According to RM Agarwal (CMD) of ITIL, “ITI has been discussing with various leading technology companies and startups to build a Make in India framework for 4G upgradeable to 5G technology and would also plan to manufacture the 4G and 5G eNodeB, and other related capabilities
On other hand, the staff union is opposing this move that why the government and DOT are forcing only BSNL to buy core Equipment from Indian Companies which is subpar and costly while other private operators are using and procuring world-class equipment from MNCs. Even BSNL also opposing to adopt the system integrator model with Indian companies for building BSNL’s 4G core network that will increase the overall price, and hurting the telco’s capability to compete with private companies.
They also object why not other renowned MNCs other than Chinese companies are not allowed in core equipment when Chinese company Shanghai Tunnel Engineering Company Ltd. (STEC) got a contract from National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) to build a 5.6 kilometer-long underground tunnel stretching from New Ashok Nagar to Sahibabad then why partiality is going with BSNL only.
BSNL is already 4 years late in the 4G launch and private companies are planning to launch 5G while it is still planning for 4G launch with unreliable and untested equipment, which will further deteriorate the service and its market share.