BSNL to float fresh GSM tender: Raja


New Delhi : With the size of its first tender cut to half, state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) will be floating a fresh tender of 40-50 million GSM lines within the next eight to nine months, it was announced here Tuesday.

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"I am told that they (BSNL) are ready to go for a larger tender," Communications and IT Minister A. Raja told reporters on the sidelines of ICT event eIndia2007.

"It would be for about 40-50 million GSM lines," he said indicating that it may be introduced within the next eight-nine months.

The move is part of BSNL's plan to expand operations, which are largely centred in Delhi and Mumbai, to other cities and compete with private operators.

"I suggested to give more strength to BSNL," Raja said indicating that the new tender might have third-generation (3G) technology of mobile telephony component in it.

According to industry sources, the telecom giant would be inviting bids from global players, including US-based telecom vendor Motorola, which was disqualified in its earlier tender along with its Chinese partner ZTE.

Earlier this month, BSNL got the approval to expand its network across the country as the minister cleared its first tender of 23 million GSM lines after cutting it from its initial size of 45.5 million lines.

BSNL placed the order for the first tender to Nokia Siemens and Ericsson that emerged as the lowest bidders.