BSNL may slash 45.5 million line GSM order to just 23 million

17 Jul 2007

Thomson Financial, citing local daily the Business Standard, is reporting that Indian state-owned telco BSNL is close to almost halving a 45.5 million line GSM order, and will renegotiate the price with contract winners Ericsson and Nokia. The paper said the revised order will be restricted to only second-generation (2G) lines, with the third-generation (3G) lines to be tendered later. However, it also cited sources as saying that at least one senior BSNL official was of the opinion that the order should be divided into 17.5 million 2G lines and 5.5 million 3G lines.

India’s communications minister A Raja questioned the original deal last week, saying the price of USD108 per line quoted by Ericsson was too high and he wanted an investigation into why Motorola and ZTE Corp were disqualified from the tender. Motorola originally went to court to challenge its exclusion, but later withdrew the case.