Motorola has received a $90-million (Rs360 crore) contract to supply GSM network equipment to state-owned telecom major Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), the telecommunications equipment manufacturer said today.
The deal will help BSNL add 2.3 million subscribers in southern India, Motorola said. BSNL plans to add 33.5 million mobile lines in the year ending March 2009. In April, it said it had a capacity of 36 million GSM lines, most of which had been used up, and 5.5 million CDMA lines, of which it had 1 million free.
Under the terms of the contract, Motorola will ship GSM network equipment and provide a network services support - both software and hardware - to BSNL. Motorola has already begun supply of the equipment, it said. BSNL's existing network in its southern region already has 2G equipment supplied by Motorola.
"We are delighted to announce that BSNL has chosen Motorola to address its critical 2G network expansion requirement. This year marks 20 years of Motorola's commitment to the Indian market and we are proud to be a part of the telecom growth story. We will endeavour to grow our market engagements and deliver maximum value to our customers, be it serving their current needs or planning for future growth," Motorola India country lead for Home and Networks Mobility Subhendu Mohanty said.
Although BSNL is India's top telecom firm by subscriber numbers if landlines are also considered in the equation, it is a distant fourth as far as wireless connections are concerned. Moreover, lack of infrastructure has also led to a slower growth curve than leaders Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communication and Vodafone Essar.
Out of a total of 261.1 million users of wireless services in India, Bharti Airtel and Reliance accounted for 62 million and 45.8 million subscribers respectively. Vodafone Essar follows them at 44.1 million users, with BSNL bringing up the rear of the quartet with 40.8 million subscribers.