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BSNL to offer bundled handsets for CDMA roll-out news
16 August 2008

New Delhi: Public sector telecommunications giant BSNL has called global CDMA handset manufacturers for possible tie-ups as it gears up for its roll out of mobile services on the CDMA platform across India.

BSNL, which is presently putting in Rs2,000 crore on a CDMA network roll-out, will offer bundled handsets. BSNL's call for bundled handsets means big business for CDMA manufacturers such as China's ZTE and Huawei, Korean companies Samsung and LG, etc.

BSNL' current mobile network uses the GSM standard across India, except in Delhi and Mumbai. The company has around 38 million GSM customers, and does not presently offer bundled handsets with its GSM connections.

BSNL is looking to enter into tie-ups with a CDMA handset manufacturers at both the national and state level on a non-exclusive basis. It has invited the manufacturers to reply by 19 August, providing details on technical descriptions and price of the handsets they plan to offer.

In a communication to handset manufacturers, BSNL said it would monitor the performance of handset manufacturers, and that the arrangement may be terminated if the latter does not meet the requisite standards.

It said that the handset offered should be locked for use on BSNL's network only, and the manufacturer would need to offer a two-year replacement guarantee for all handsets. The company reserved the right to functionally test the handsets, and marketing of the scheme would be shared between BSNL and handset manufacturers on a mutually agreed basis.

BSNL, a GSM player is moving to launch a full-fledged CDMA service at a time when CDMA players such as Reliance Communications and the Tata Teleservices are moving to cover GSM operations. Initially, BSNL plans to limit its CDMA offerings to 500 towns and cities across the country, and is in the process of setting up 10,000 towers for its CDMA networks.

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BSNL to offer bundled handsets for CDMA roll-out