India government-owned BSNL has cancelled a tender for rolling our 4G network after the Department of Telecom (DoT) asked the telecom operator to not use Chinese telecom gear, PTI reported.
This will be a major blow on Huawei and ZTE, two leading telecom equipment suppliers based in China.
The ailing telecom operator will now float a new tender which will largely focus on Make in India mission of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is not clear whether telecom network suppliers such as Nokia from Finland and Ericsson from Sweden could participate in the new 4G tender from BSNL.
BSNL officials earlier said that the decision to buy only India made equipment will raise the cost of procurement by more than 25 percent. In addition to increase in cost, BSNL will face significant delay in the roll out of 4G network.
“The 4G tender is in public domain and anyone can buy and bid. BSNL does not have money for experimentation. In view of this, before finalising tenders, capabilities have to be demonstrated and the product should be ready,” PK Purwar, CMD, BSNL earlier said during a NITI Aayog meeting.
BSNL is aiming to spend around Rs 12,000 crore for building its 4G network covering top cities and towns.
Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Jio relies on Samsung based in South Korea for its 4G business. Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea’s 4G network is largely built by Huawei and ZTE.
Earlier, Airtel Chairman Sunil Mittal said Airtel has a superior network thanks to the contribution of Huawei.
Vodafone Group CEO Nick Reed earlier pointed out that the world’s second largest telecom operator will miss 5G leadership in the United Kingdom if it is forced to remove network by Huawei.