BSNL has been desperately trying to upgrade its existing network sites of 2G and 3G to 4G. The state-owned telco has been facing many issues in doing so. The Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council (TEPC) objected the telcos contracts for not aligning with the government’s ‘Make in India’ campaign. However, BSNL has reportedly approved the contracts for ZTE and Nokia to upgrade its existing network sites to 4G. There are around 49,300 sites that are going to be upgraded, which will be worth nearly Rs 2,300 crore, ET Telecom reports.
BSNL is Looking for the Fastest Way to Upgrade
BSNL is wary of the fact that the more time it takes to get the sites upgraded, the more business it loses. The telco has given the contracts to ZTE and Nokia because they can get the job done in the fastest time possible. BSNL noted that expansion of existing networks with the help of multinational vendors would take a lot of time and the best way to enter the 4G spectrum would be to upgrade the existing sites with the help of original equipment makers. The telco said that Nokia and ZTE are the only original equipment makers in phase - VIII.4 and that is why they are the best parties to upgrade their sites.
Tender Route, not The Best Way To Go About the Business
BSNL has decided not to go with the traditional tender route. The telco stated; upgradation of the current 2G and 3G sites to 4G would be over in a matter of six months without any disruption if the contracts are rolled out to ZTE and Nokia. But if BSNL were to go with the traditional route of tenders, the same work that should have been completed in six months would be done in 18-20 months. The telco also added that with the upgradation of the existing sites, for each site, they will have to incur an extra Rs 39,000 as compared to the rates they would have to pay to the L1 bidders.