The Department of Telecommunications approves BSNL’s hybrid 4G tender

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The department of telecommunications (DoT) has united in-principle to Asian country Sanchar Nigam’s (BSNL) proposal to separate its tender for the rollout of 4G services into 2 components. The state-owned firm that is facing delays in floating a contemporary tender ever since the primary one was off in March last year, had steered that as a part of the split, half A comprising 50,000 sites ought to be strictly reserved for domestic vendors.

Parallel to that, it should be allowed to launch a new tender — Part B — for the remaining 50,000 sites, which would be equivalent to a standard tender and open to global companies including Nokia, Ericsson, and others. It had proposed that if any of the Indian vendors had completed good trials of their technology (proof of concept) by the time of the technical evaluation of the Part B tender,

The Department of Transportation will now seek approval from the empowered technology group (ETG), which is led by principal scientific advisor K VijayRaghavan, so that BSNL can proceed with a two-part tender, according to sources.

The Department of Transportation gave its approval after BSNL wrote to say that its survival depended on the early introduction of 4G services and that there was no developed Indian core available at the time. It had predicted that, except TCS, which has partnered with C-DoT to build a centre, others will fail. Even if domestic vendors succeed in trial runs, it will take longer for them to produce requisitions.

On the successful completion of trials by local companies, the company had announced that it intended to carry out 4G within ten months. If the proof of concept is completed in four months, the network will be operational in 14 months. However, if the proof-of-concept was not completed within the specified timeframes, the deployment deadlines would be extended as well.

The issue for BSNL arose when a government-appointed committee suggested that the centre of the 4G network be developed by domestic vendors using a system integrator model, rather than multinational companies like Ericsson or Nokia. Furthermore, an Indian company should own the IPR or patent/copyright for the software’s source code, and it should have free, irrevocable access and licence to it.

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