BSNL GO GLOBAL; DIAL AFRICA

BSNL CMD Kuldeep GoyalIndia’s leading total telecom service provider Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) willing to expand its global foot print and the company is ready to make a big acquisition looking at the African continent to acquire new licences and partners.

BSNL’s CMD Kuldeep Goyal said  “We are looking at various options (for expansion). We are looking at new licences or partnering with existing licence holders. In Africa, we are looking at various countries.”
On whether the company has got an approval from the government of India for such overseas investments, Goyal said “The BSNL Board has got the approval.” With a cash stock pile of more than Rs 30,000 crore, Goyal said BSNL was ready to make a big acquisition.However, Goyal also hinted that the much awaited listing of the company is still some time away.

“If the government decides to go ahead with the IPO, then we will start a dialogue with the unions and see that we convince them on that. The valuation exercise will only start once a decision is taken over it. We hope that some decision will be taken soon,” he said.

The long pending issue of the 10 per cent disinvestment in BSNL has been repeatedly met with severe opposition from the BSNL Employee Union. On listing, the PSU is expected to get Rs 10,000 crore for its 10 per cent divestment.

Meanwhile, on the controversial Rs 30,000-crore mega GSM tender, Goyal said two companies had been shortlisted after receiving technical bids.“The tender is under valuation. In the North and East, it is Ericsson and, in the South, it is Huawei,” he said. When asked whether the qualification of only two companies meant that they would get the 93-million line tender,

Goyal said “We have to see the reasonability of the bids. We will have a dialogue with them and (then) they should get the orders. In the North and South, there are 25 million lines and, in the East, there are about 25 million lines. These are the only players in the race. In the West zone, a decision has to be taken. Right now, some work is already on in the West zone by Alcatel-ITI.”

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