New Delhi: Swedish company Ericsson has come out as the lowest bidder for BSNL's mega tender for 45.5 million cellular lines (supporting as many subscribers) by quoting about $107 per line.
This is lower than the rate at which BSNL's previous GSM tender was awarded in 2001 at an average price of $150 per line.
Nokia emerged as the second lowest bidder with a quote of around $176 per line. It will have to match Ericsson's price, if it wishes to accept the contract.
Siemens, which quoted over $400 per line, is out of the race, since the contract will be awarded to the two lowest bidders after BSNL evaluates their technical and financial bids in detail.
BSNL's $4.8-billion tender for around 60 million GSM user infrastructure reserves about an 18-million line contract for the public sector ITI (formerly Indian Telephone Industries). This has already been awarded to the ITI-Alcatel joint venture, which will now have to match Ericsson's bid price of $107 per line. However, the allotment is being questioned by the PMO.
Earlier five global telecom equipment suppliers - Ericsson, Nokia, Motorola, Siemens and ZTE Corp - had submitted financial bids for the BSNL tender, out of 18 who had shown an interest. Motorola and ZTL Corp had been eliminated during technical evaluation.
Motorola yesterday filed a case in the Delhi High Court on Monday against BSNL, seeking an explanation for its disqualification. The company said that it was surprised and disappointed by BSNL's decision not to invite it for price bid opening. Motorola also questioned the move to allowing Nokia and Siemens to bid separately even though the two companies are being merged.
The High Court has directed that the tendering process will be subject to orders of the court. It also asked BSNL to respond to Motorola's appeal at the next hearing.
The awarded of the contract to ITI-Alcatel joint venture is also under scrutiny as the allotment is being questioned by the prime minister's office. The PMO has sought comments from DoT on a number of allegations, including that the specifications of the tender was repeatedly changed to protect the interests of some foreign firms and that the tender was not processed in a transparent manner.
Another allegation is that ITI has incurred a loss as a result of the joint venture with Alcatel, as its plants at Mankapur and Rae Bareli were being given only a small portion of the work force.
also see : Ericsson
on top in BSNL's mega-GSM tender?