BSNL to defer GSM tender

22 Jul 2008

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has deferred the date for opening its tender for 90 million GSM lines from 16 July to 30 August, Indian news source Sify is reporting. The state-owned operator announced the tender in May 2008, and several equipment vendors have since been linked to the contract, including Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks and Huawei. It is understood that a high number of queries from vendors may be partly responsible for the postponement, with the estimated value of the tender expected to exceed USD6.5 billion. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, BSNL is currently fourth largest cellco in India, with 14.37% market share at March 2008, trailing Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications and Vodafone Essar.