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TCIL eyes to deploy 4G gear for BSNL, MTNL

Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL), a state-owned telecom and engineering company is looking at the fourth generation or 4G equipment deployment and enhancement of 2G and 3G networks by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) as a major opportunity, and eyes partnerships with local network vendors in line with Centre’s Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) initiative.

“We have a good execution experience. 4G is a major opportunity today. We are open to participating in BSNL tender, and are also in discussions,” Rajiv Gupta, chairman, TCIL told ETTelecom, and added that the company would put in efforts to support domestic companies as a part of Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) program.

State-run BSNL’s switch to the next generation of networks is considered to be a major business opportunity for homegrown network vendors as well as public sector companies such as ITI Limited which has already expressed its keen interest to bid for the telco’s upcoming 4G equipment upgrade and deployment orders worth nearly Rs 10,000 crores.

“We can do (bid) together with a prospective partner and have necessary expertise,” Gupta said and added that the telecom carrier was in the final stages of drafting the tender.

On the back of new orders including satellite gateways in Delhi and Bengaluru, BharatNet expansion programs in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, as well as upcoming fibre initiative in Tamil Nadu, the public sector engineering firm is expecting to touch Rs. 1,700-crore revenue despite the Covid-19-induced slowdown this year.

In October last year, the Centre has approved the allocation of 4G airwaves for the two state-run telecom companies, as a part of their revival plan that also included offering Virtual Retirement Scheme (VRS) and asset monetisation.

DoT panel submits BSNL 4G tender blueprint
BSNL, as a part of phase – IX network expansion, wanted to upgrade as many as 49,300 sites to 4G in addition to 7,000 new sites in two metropolitans – Delhi and Mumbai for counterpart Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL).

Following the allegations from domestic companies led by the Delhi-based Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council (Tepc), the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has asked the state-controlled operator to scrap the request for proposal (RFP) it floated on March 23, and constituted an expert committee to rework the tender’s terms and conditions.

The Bengaluru-based ITI Limited has recently entered into alliances with system integrators – Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Tech Mahindra, and is expecting to bag mega order from India’s fourth-largest telecom service provider.

Meanwhile, ITI has already advanced its discussions with local vendors to deploy next-generation gear upgradable to fifth generation or 5G, for the state-owned telco.

“We will manufacture the 4G and 5G eNodeB, an LTE Radio Access Network (RAN) element, and develop other related network capabilities for BSNL,” ITI chairman RM Agarwal earlier said.

The DoT’s committee has recently recommended BSNL using core network from domestic companies besides blocking investment in 2G altogether which though continues to contribute as much as 60% revenue to the state-run telco. News Daily America

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