Ericsson, Nokia Siemens, Huawei, ZTE and Alcatel-Lucent bid for BSNL GSM tender

Telecom equipment majors Ericsson, Nokia Siemens, Huawei,
ZTE and Alcatel-Lucent have submitted bids for bagging the 14.37 million GSM
line project of the state-run BSNL for expansion of mobile services.


The tender floated by BSNL involves planning, financing,
engineering, supply, installation, testing, commissioning and annual
maintenance of the GSM lines.


The government-run BSNL had floated this tender on an
e-tendering reverse auction basis in the month of July.


A reverse auction is a type of auction in which the
company that floats the tender fixes the upper limit of the contract and
interested parties participate in a series of rounds in which they submit
offers lower than the ceiling contract value and those of the previous round
until a single party emerges as the lowest (L-1) bidder.


The company had said that only bidders with a minimum
turnover of Rs 8,000 crore in both of the last two years can participate in the

“The tender for procurement of 14.37 million GSM lines for expansion of 2G
and 3G services has been floated by BSNL for requirement of all its telecom
circles, except Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh,”
Minister of State for Communications and IT Milind Deora informed the Lok


However, there were news reports saying that BSNL would
scrap its 14.37 million lines GSM tender due to the poor response from private
vendors to the estimated Rs 5,000-6,000 crore equipment supply contract.


Earlier, BSNL had cancelled a tender for 5.5 million GSM
lines in the year 2010 for telecom circles in the North and East Zone.


It had also cancelled a 93 million line tender worth Rs
35,000 crore floated in 2008 for all telecom circles, because of the
controversies over the lack of competition in the bidding process and
complaints from various quarters that the capacity addition was too high for
the company.


Earlier this year,
ZTE announced its strategic partnership with Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) with
the aim of enhancing broadband services in the country.


It is interesting to note that both ZTE and Huawei,
Chinese equipment vendors, are bidding for the BSNL tender despite apprehension
about their involvement in security related issues.


By Danish Khan
[email protected]