India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has called for state-owned telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) to re-tender its 93-million GSM line order in a bid to ensure at least one bidder in each zone, the Business Standard reports. The regulator claims that it should be possible to complete the re-tender in a short period of time – between two and three months – and could enable the telco to make sure that it paid the lowest price possible for equipment. The DoT also noted that the process would be faster as a result of most bidders already holding the tender documents and being familiar with them.
BSNL has faced a number of delays in awarding its so-called mega-tender, and the government’s decision to bar Chinese vendors from providing equipment in certain telecom circles – those circles that have a border with Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh or Myanmar are considered sensitive in terms of national security – meant that there was no competition in any of BSNL’s four tender zones.
At present BSNL is involved in price negotiations with Sweden’s Ericsson with regard to the northern and eastern zones, and with China’s Huawei for the southern zone.