BSNL out with $5 B mega tender

By agencies   |   Thursday, 23 March 2006, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: In the biggest ever expansion of mobile phone networks in India, state-funded BSNL Thursday invited bids for adding 45.5 million lines spread over three years, envisaging an investment of $4-5 billion.

As per the tender requirement, the companies having manufacturing base in India or tie-ups with equipment manufacturers located in the country are eligible to bid and also the vendors will have to achieve a minimum of at least 30 percent value addition in indigenously manufactured core equipment.

Telecom ministry said that 30 percent value addition clause has been included in the tender to encourage domestic manufacturing of telecom equipment.

"To promote domestic manufacture, boards of BSNL and MTNL have decided to insist on value addition in the country for their tenders," Department of Telecom secretary J S Sarma said.

The tender for 45.5 million new GSM lines is the biggest ever in India and would be executed over the next three years, the company said. Total expansion of network is of 60 million lines, but remaining 14.5 million lines worth order has been reserved for public sector ITI, which has a technical tie up with French equipment major Alcatel.

BSNL has opted for two stage bidding system for the tender, which entails planning, engineering, supply, installation and commissioning of the lines.

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