Ericsson AB, Motorola Inc, Nokia Corp, Siemens AG, and ZTE Corp were the finalists who submitted bids for Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL)'s gigantic $4.5-billion wireless tender for the Phase two calls for 60 million 2G and 3G lines to be rolled out over the next three years.
In the first year, 75 per cent will be GSM and 25 per cent UMTS, with those ratios reversing by the third year.
Alcatel bypassed the competition on account of its partnership with ITI Ltd., a public sector vendor that has set aside an order of 15 million lines to fulfill a government quota.
BSNL would divide the remaining 45 million lines between the two bidders that meet technical requirements specified by BSNL.
Motorola recently announced the setting up of a factory near Chennai that will be ready next year.Ericsson is to supply Bharti with 60 million lines over the next three years, and ZTE has a deal with Tata to provide equipment for its rural expansion project.
All of India's major carriers are in expansion mode as mobile subscriber numbers continue to skyrocket. According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) , carriers added 4.25 million in May alone, pushing the total number of mobile subscribers in India up to 101.17 million. That puts India into the top five countries in the world with more than 100 million mobile users, behind China, the U.S., Japan, and Russia.
BSNL added 400,000 users during May, taking its total subscriber base to 18 million and its market share to 23.9 percent.