BSNL announces record spend on GSM expansion

11 Aug 2004

India’s largest telecoms company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has announced GSM equipment orders worth close to USD900 million with Nortel Networks and Nokia, according to local press reports. The INR40 billion (USD863 million) outlay will be the largest made by an Indian telco and will see Nortel install seven million GSM lines, with Nokia adding a further four million to enable BSNL to compete more effectively in the mobile arena, where it is currently the third-largest largest GSM operator by subscribers. The telco says that the expansion should provide it with enough lines to cater for the 25 million customers it expects to have signed up by the end of 2005; it currently has around 6.2 million users.