A week ago, we reported that BSNL is finally looking to expand its 4G network by installing 50,000 new sites across the country. The telco also opened online bid submission for 'Procurement of Tender.' Today, BSNL has issued a new notice for 'Postponement of Tender' to May 23, 2020. In the first notice, the state-run telco said the bidding would end on May 8, 2020, but it has now been postponed by another 15 days. The reason behind the postponement could be because of the extension of lockdown in India till May 3. It is also revealed that South Korean telecom gear maker Samsung is interested in taking up BSNL's 4G expansion which was expected to kickstart at the end of May 2020.
BSNL Issues New Notice Regarding Postponement of 4G Tender
Government-owned BSNL is the only major telecom operator in India for not providing 4G services to more than 120 million subscribers. Though BSNL has 4G operations in some parts of 20 telecom circles where it is operating, the service is nowhere close to what Airtel, Jio and Vodafone Idea are providing. A lot of BSNL subscribers are eagerly waiting for the telco to launch its nationwide 4G services, but it the tender for procuring BSNL 4G expansion has postponed yet again.
"The online bid submission and opening of the Tender for Procurement of Tender Document for BSNL's T.E. for Planning, Engineering, Supply Installation, Testing, Commissioning & Annual Maintenance of 4G Mobile Network in North, East, West & South Zones of BSNL and Delhi & Mumbai LSA of MTNL on TURNKEY basis issued on March 23, 2020scheduled for May 8, 2020 (bid submission end date) & May 9, 2020 (bid opening date) is hereby postponed to May 23 (bid submission end date) & May 25 (bid opening date)," said BSNL in its notice.
Samsung, ZTE and Other Vendors Bidding for BSNL 4G Project
A recent report also revealed that major telecom gear makers like Samsung, ZTE, Nokia and Ericsson are looking to grab BSNL's 4G expansion project. Samsung has been working closely with Reliance Jio in deploying LTE-only network across India, while BSNL has worked with ZTE in the past for network expansion and deployment. It will be interesting to see who grabs this tender from BSNL as the project is said to be worth Rs 11,000 crore.