Stringent requirements put forth by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) has delayed bidding for the $4 billion worth of contracts for GSM and UMTS gear that will provide 45.5 million mobile lines.
BSNL's criteria for vendors having 20 million lines already installed in GSM networks in at least 10 countries, with at least one network serving more than 2 million lines. BSNL further stipulates that at least 30 percent of the equipment has to be manufactured in India. Eighteen vendors -- including Nokia, Nortel Networks Ltd., Motorola, and Siemens AG - have constantly been in touch with BSNL to express interest in bidding.
BSNL has fixed 31 May as the deadline, by which vendors need to put in their bids.
BSNL has already awarded 14.5 million GSM lines to state-owned supplier ITI Ltd. and its partner Alcatel. It is also checking out the possibility of deploying fiber-to-the-home kit to expand its broadband network.