Telecom gear maker HFCL is likely to get telecom equipment order worth Rs 1,000 crore from state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).
The contract is meant for supplying and deploying optical transport network (OTN) equipment to the company. According to top officials of BSNL, the company is most likely to get the purchase order as it quoted the lowest price.
“First of all I would like to inform you that the company always follows the government guidelines for the tender process.. in this process L1 company was HFCL and L2 company was Tejas. However, I won’t say the award will go to HFCL right now as it is still under process,” said the official.
The telco has been procuring indigenous telecom gear for its networks. The telco is procuring indigenous devices for its 4G services too. It has placed an order worth Rs 19,000 crore with the TCS consortium and ITI for deploying 100,000 4G tower sites across the country.
However, there was a report that BSNL is set to outsource its equipment from Nokia. The official refuted these claims, and said it is following DPIT guidelines for the tenders.
“Let me clarify one thing BSNL has not purchased or placed any order from Nokia. We have issued a tender, and many companies including HFCL and Tejas participated in it. As per the guidelines in this tender process, the price quotations difference between L1 and L2 companies is over 20%, and in this scenario, as per the rules, the tender should ideally be awarded to the L1 company.
The report of BSNL using Nokia products for its networks had irked homegrown telecom gear makers. A Delhi-based domestic industry group has also written to telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw seeking his intervention.
As per their complaint, state-owned Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) for core, Bengaluru-based UTL participated in the bidding process, but was declined on the basis of awaited ‘trusted source’ approval and the absence of bank guarantee (BG). C-DoT is a part of the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)-backed consortium, and is currently supplying core equipment to BSNL for 4G deployment. New Indian Express