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BSNL signs high value contract with Nokia in India

13. 11. 2023 Monday / By: Robert Denes / Industrial / Exact time: BST / Print this page

I ndian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has praised the ambitions of Atmanirbhar Bharat and is encouraging domestic industry to produce for global markets and reduce dependence on imports. New Delhi has also recently partnered with Washington to promote research and trade opportunities for Indian companies.

NEW DELHI: In a move that has raised eyebrows among India's domestic telecom companies, state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited ( BSNL ) has awarded a Rs 1,000 crore purchase order to Finland's Nokia for supply and installation of optical transmission network (OTN) equipment through a local system integrator.

"This is a very unfortunate situation and will scare Atmanirbhar Bharat (independent India). BSNL has excluded United Telecoms Limited (UTL) and Tejas Networks on flimsy grounds and modified the original terms and conditions to suit foreign companies," he said. Rakesh Kumar. Bhatnagar, CEO of Voice of Indian Communication Technology Enterprises (Voice) told ETTelecom.

Recently, the Delhi-based domestic industry group also wrote a "strongly worded letter" to Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, seeking immediate intervention. In collaboration with the state-owned Center for Telematics Development (C-DoT), Bangalore-based UTL participated in the bidding process but was rejected due to lack of expected "reliable source" approval and bank guarantee. BG).

Interestingly, C-DoT is part of a Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)-backed consortium and is currently supplying essential equipment for BSNL's next-generation (4G) network deployment following a concept (PoC). UTL participated in the bidding process by offering in-house developed and manufactured products through its subsidiary Priyaraja Electronics, which is an MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise) and eligible for the Earnings Money Deposit (EMD) condition, according to the ministry. for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

"BSNL has not even opened the offer of UTL-C-DoT saying that they do not have a reliable product which can be applied only through a service provider and their (BSNL) intention is apparently against the government's vision of promoting Made in India telecom equipment," he said. Bhatnagar added. The tender conditions include delivery of the network elements "after approval as a reliable product" by the Secretariat of the National Security Council (NSC).

Foreign manufacturers like Nokia can be a reliable source, but in the current scenario, they do not qualify as reliable products, added Bhatnagar, who is also a former adviser to the telecom department. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has praised the ambitions of Atmanirbhar Bharat and is encouraging domestic industry to produce for global markets and reduce dependence on imports. New Delhi has also recently partnered with Washington to promote research and trade opportunities for Indian companies.

BSNL sources said the financial bid has been opened and an "advance purchase order (APO) to a successful bidder" will be issued in the coming days. Earlier, Tata Sons subsidiary Tejas Networks' sole bid was cancelled, with BSNL citing norms that deter single bidders. In June this year, it had to issue a detailed e-tender (DNIT) call again.


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