State-run BSNL will install around 28,000 new mobile base stations across the country for the roll-out 4G services at select stations and replace all 2G sites with 3G by end 2017-18.
BSNL is replacing all its 2G base stations with upgraded equipment to offer 3G and 4G services, under phase-8 expansion, a PTI report quoted BSNL chairman and MD Anupam Shrivastava as saying.
BSNL will also offer 4G services at select locations, the report said, adding that the company plans to use part of its 3G spectrum for 4G services.
European firms Nokia and Ericsson and Chinese telecom equipment firm ZTE are in the fray for the project.
"Nokia has emerged as the lowest bidder (L1) in financial bids and ZTE is second runner up (L2). Evaluation is going on. We expect to finalise the vendor in April," Shrivastava said.
The lowest qualified bidder will get the contract to replace equipment in West and South zone of the country.
"L2 bidder will be given East and North if it accepts to supply equipment at L1 rates," Shrivastava said.
Meanwhile, BSNL is tying up with cable network operators in Telangana to provide broadband services to its customers.
"We have already tied up our broadband services with some of the local cable operators in Warangal district successfully. By May 2017 we will tie up with private cable operators in Karimnagar too," BSNL AP Circle chief general manager L Anantharam told reporters on Monday.
"BSNL will provide cable and maintenance besides infrastructure to the cable operators. They will run their cable television and we will give landline, broadband and voice calls to our customers," he said.
The NGN (next generation network) exchange of 4,000 lines is commissioned by replacing existing new technology exchange in three exchanges in Karimnagar town, the official said.
With this, the landline subscribers can avail IP Centrex, video calling, group video conferencing facilities, he said.
By March 15 as many as 20 hotspots for Wi-Fi will be launched in Karimnagar, the Chief General Manager said.
Giving details of new prepaid connections, he said 96,650 new customers have been added into BSNL prepaid services and the number will cross one lakh by the end of this month.