After blocking Huawei and ZTE, Centre plans multi-vendor-led model for BSNL 4G
After cancelling the Rs 8,697-crore 4G tender and blocking Chinese vendors like Huawei and ZTE under new guidelines which prohibit procurement by government and public sector undertakings from companies based in countries which share land border with India, the government is exploring a multi-vendor-led model for rolling out the new network of BSNL.
Under this model, the 4G network will be built and managed by a system integrator, which will basically buy hardware and software from different companies like Nokia, Ericsson and other foreign vendors and assemble them.
This is a new model which is being tried globally and for BSNL, since the system integrator will be an Indian player, it will give the touch of a domestic company having built the network.
Analysts feel that given the poor financial condition of BSNL, trying this new approach will be detrimental, particularly since the company is a late starter in the 4G business.
Most of the private mobile operators have built their networks through turnkey contracts to a single vendor, which after commissioning it also manages it under managed services agreement. It saves cost and improves network efficiency. In the system integrator model, the network will have components of several players, basically by way of assembling, which may increase costs and lead to quality issues or technical glitches.
A DoT committee is finalising the technical details for the rollout of the BSNL network and is expected to submit its report soon.
Recently, the Niti Aayog had recommended that only locally designed and manufactured products should be deployed by BSNL for its 4G roll-out, and the state-run firm should draft its new tender to support local models of equipment.
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