BSNL reduces GSM line purchase to 14m

18 Jul 2007

BSNL has decided to buy only 14 million 2G mobile lines, writes the Business Standard, without naming sources. The telco invited tenders for 45.5 million 2G and 3G lines in 2005 and Ericsson and Nokia emerged as the lowest bidders at USD107 and USD176 per line respectively. But India’s new telecoms minister, A. Raja, asked BSNL to negotiate a lower price, arguing it would be paying substantially more for the equipment than rival MTNL. The Business Standard said 14 million 2G lines would now be ordered at an estimated cost of USD87.55 per line. A further 3.5 million 3G lines will be bought only after the government finalises its new spectrum policy for the service, the newspaper said.