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BSNL plans to invite bids from global cos for 4G gear; rollout likely in 6 months

BSNL will spend Rs 1,200 crore on network equipment over a two-year period. The telco, which recently received a Rs 74,000-crore revival package from the government, is planning to deploy more than 50,000 new 4G mobile sites at 70,000 locations.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Nov 23, 2019, 10.57 AM IST
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The telco is launching next-generation services on the 2100 MHz band spectrum across its 20 licensed service areas.
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NEW DELHI: State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) plans to soon invite bids from multinational gear makers including Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia and ZTE to purchase equipment for its fourth-generation (4G) commercial roll-out which is expected in six months.

“We’ll come out with an open tender and allow all vendors to participate. No vendors will be excluded, and everybody will be free to participate,” BSNL chairman Pravin Kumar Purwar told ET. He said BSNL will spend Rs 1,200 crore on network equipment over a two-year period. The telco, which recently received a Rs 74,000-crore revival package from the government, is planning to deploy more than 50,000 new 4G mobile sites at 70,000 locations.

The telco plans to launch the data network in the first half of 2020 and, as part of a phased approach, is currently ramping up its existing network even as it prepares the contours of the tender offer. “We have to follow the law of the land. As of date, no telecom equipment manufacturer has been barred, irrespective of the place of origin,” Purwar said when asked about Huawei’s 5G-centric backdoor concerns worldwide.

Some countries including the United Kingdom have been looking at a multi-vendor approach to alleviate security apprehensions, following the US advisory to discourage Huawei.

In 2017, BSNL had awarded network expansion contract to Finland’s Nokia and China’s ZTE, which had emerged as L1 and L2 bidders respectively, to deploy 40,000 base transceiver stations.

The telco is launching next-generation services on the 2100 MHz band spectrum across its 20 licensed service areas.

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