Five in the running for BSNL mega tender

13 Jun 2006

State-run Indian telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has received five bids in its so-called ‘mega tender’ for 45.5 million GSM lines, a company official told Reuters. The tender, valued at around USD4.8 billion, is the world’s single largest mobile equipment contract. The five vendors to have submitted bids are Nokia, Ericsson, Siemens, Motorola and ZTE Corp, the official said.

BSNL has issued a strict set of conditions for prospective bidders. The tender stipulates that all network elements must support both 2G GSM and 3G UMTS technologies and vendors must provide a seven-year timetable for implementation of the network. Successful parties will have to utilise around 30% Indian-manufactured core equipment and must establish local software centres for providing necessary support during the lifetime of the equipment; remote access from facilities outside India will not generally be allowed. Interested parties must have a minimum annual turnover of USD1.8 billion for the last two years and experience of supplying and rolling out GSM networks of more than 20 million lines, and in a minimum of ten countries, to be eligible to bid. In addition, bidders or their collaborators should have constructed at least two UMTS core networks in two countries, each with a capacity of at least five million lines.