BSNL's complaints regarding the 4G equipment procurement and 4G tender continue. In the latest development, the telco has reportedly informed DoT that the prices offered by local vendors are on the steeper side when compared to the prices offered by global vendors. This development comes after the government pushing telcos to procure local 4G gear so that the global and local vendors are on the same playing field. Thanks to their superior network infrastructure, telecom operators always choose global vendors like Ericsson, Samsung, Nokia, Huawei and ZTE for deploying their network. A Business Standard report says the 4G tender prices from local vendors are up to 89% costlier than the tender prices offered by global vendors.
Prices Offered by Domestic OEMs for Tenders are 89% Higher Than Global Vendors: BSNL
Citing sources aware of the matter, the publication says BSNL informed DoT that domestic OEMs missed "25 of 35 floated tenders in the past." The report added that an 'unnamed' domestic vendor quoted Rs 516 crore for procurement, supply, installation, and commissioning, including operation and maintenance of optical transport networking (OTN). In contrast, a global vendor for performing the same operations quoted Rs 273.97 crore. The difference is huge and the reliability factor is also with the global vendors.
The Centre is currently pushing BSNL to procure local gear for rolling out 4G services, but the telco is complaining about the price quoted for a 4G tender by local OEMs. BSNL is looking to convert its existing 2G towers to 4G towers and install up to 49,000 towers.
Furthermore, BSNL also wrote to DoT regarding the supply constraints faced by local vendors. The telco feels that local vendors may not be able to supply equipment on a 'mass scale.' It also said at least five domestic vendors should participate in a single tender to supply the equipment.
BSNL ended the letter to DoT saying that the difference in prices cannot be justified with the prices mentioned by local vendors.