BSNL seeks other options for mega GSM tender

Sunday, 25 November 2007, 08:00 Hrs
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New Delhi: State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) Friday said it will pursue other options to award a tender for some 22.5 million GSM lines it had floated earlier, valued at over $2 billion, following problems over pricing with one of the bidders, Nokia Siemens.

"Nokia Siemens has not given an unconditional acceptance so we are finding other options," Kuldeep Goyal, Chairman and Managing Director of BSNL, told reporters here.

As per the provisions of this large tender, the lowest bidder Ericsson had been awarded 60 percent of the tender of around 13 million lines, at a per-line price of a little over $90.

The remaining 40 percent was to be awarded to Nokia-Siemens, provided the group agreed to match the price of the lowest bidder - a matter over which the state-run company has received no response from the Finnish company as yet.

"We are exploring three alternatives: Award the whole contract to Ericsson, talk to BSNL's existing vendors for add-on capacity or finally float a fresh tender," Goyal said.

"There had been no changes made in what was offered to Ericsson and NSN."

Giving some details of the deal, senior BSNL officials said the original tender was planned for around 65 million lines and as per government policy, the state-run ITI was awarded 15 million lines.

In the meanwhile, the size of the tender, which had already been reduced to some 45 million lines, was further cut to 22.5 lines since the government's policy on third generation (3G) networkd had not been finalised.
Source: IANS
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