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BSNL cancels 4G tender involving Chinese telecom companies

Government has decided to scrap its March 23 tender to source fouth-generation (4G) equipment for network upgrade of state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam (MTNL).

According to sources, BSNL has been asked to re-tender the order, which will have specifications regarding encouraging domestic telecom equipment makers to participate, but the move is being seen as keeping the Chinese gear makers — Huawei and ZTE at bay.

According to an earlier BSNL notification, the tender was “for planning, engineering, supply, installation, testing, commissioning, and annual maintenance of 4G mobile network in north, east, west, and south zones of BSNL and Delhi, and Mumbai LSA (licensed spectrum access) of MTNL on turnkey basis”.

According to a senior official, BSNL has been asked to re-tender the contract for 50,000 BTS (base transceiver station) for network upgrade. BSNL is in the process of upgrading its network to 4G and BTS that facilitates wireless communication plays a crucial role in it.

Last month, after 20 soldiers were killed by Chinese troops in Galwan Valley of Ladakh, the Department of Telecommunications had directed BSNL to exclude Chinese gear makers from supplying 4G telecom equipment.


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