Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is all set to award a Rs 1000 crore order/contract to finish gear maker Nokia. The order/contract will be for supplying and deploying optical transport network (OTN) equipment through a local system integrator. As per ET, Rakesh Kumar Bhatnagar, director general, Voice of Indian Communication Technology Enterprises, BSNL has disqualified United Telecoms Limited (UTL) and Tejas Networks on shoddy grounds and tweaked the original terms and conditions to suit foreign vendors.
BSNL has been pegged as the telecom operator that wants to push homegrown companies ahead. But the move from BSNL to award a Rs 1000 crore contract to Nokia would be in contrast to what the government wants, which is Aatmanirbharta (self-reliance). UTL was a part of the bidding process for this order. However, the company didn’t make the cut because it is not on the ‘trusted sources’ list of the government.
Bhatnagar said that BSNL’s intent here was not correct as it didn’t even open a bid by UTL, which had partnered with C-DoT. BSNL is currently in the process of rolling out homegrown 4G. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), C-DoT (Centre for Development of Telematics), and Tejas Networks are helping BSNL roll out 4G using local technology.
The tender that BSNL has rolled out for the current project mentions that the company must be on the Trusted Sources list of the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS). As per the report, the order will likely go to Nokia. BSNL allowed foreign companies to participate as the order value went above Rs 200 crore.
BSNL will award the advance purchase order (APO) to a successful bidder in the next few days. It is worth noting that Tejas Networks had put in a sole bid earlier this year, but the bid was cancelled by BSNL citing norms that don’t allow a single bidder.