Indian vendor Tejas receives $900M RAN order, its largest ever

India's Tejas announced that it has received $900 million RAN deal to deploy BSNL's 4G network.

Gagandeep Kaur, Contributing Editor

August 18, 2023

2 Min Read
Indian vendor Tejas receives $900M RAN order, its largest ever
The deal could help Tejas's owner Tata Group position itself as an end-to-end vendor. (Source: Seemanta Dutta/Alamy Stock Photo)

Indian telecom vendor Tejas Networks has announced that it has won an INR74.9 billion (US$900 million) order to supply radio access network (RAN) gear for the state-owned service provider Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited's (BSNL) pan-India 4G network. This is the single largest order Tejas has ever received.

Tejas was part of a consortium led by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). The telecom vendor was later acquired by Tata Sons, the holding company of Tata Group, one of the largest Indian business conglomerates.

As part of the contract, Tejas will supply to TCS RAN equipment for 100,000 sites for BSNL'’s 4G network. The project will be completed by the end of 2024. Apart from the RAN gear, Tejas will also be providing annual maintenance services over the next nine years, which is not included in the $900 million figure. The deal may lead to a number of add-ons for Tejas, including upgrading sites to 5G. It will also open up 5G RAN opportunities for Tejas in other regions.

BSNL has fallen behind

Like all government contracts, this one was much delayed and discussed because of the government's insistence on using indigenously developed 4G technology and gear. The government has asked state-owned telcos to refrain from using Chinese equipment, while seeking to limit telecom equipment imports and pushing for self-reliance. This caused a significant delay to BSNL's 4G deployment.

While private telcos have already launched 5G, BSNL has only recently started offering 4G services in a few areas. Earlier this year, BSNL launched its beta 4G services in Amritsar, having conducted a proof of concept of domestic 4G equipment across 200 sites in Northern India. BSNL's market share dropped from 9.8% in May 2022 to 8.8% in May 2023, possibly because of the lack of 4G services.

The order promises to provide a significant boost to the growing Indian vendor ecosystem. A successful execution of this project would also help Tata Group position itself as a telecom vendor providing "end-to-end" services.

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— Gagandeep Kaur, Contributing Editor, special to Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Gagandeep Kaur

Contributing Editor

With more than a decade of experience, Gagandeep Kaur Sodhi has worked for the most prominent Indian communications industry publications including Dataquest, Business Standard, The Times of India, and Voice&Data, as well as for Light Reading. Delhi-based Kaur, who has knowledge of and covers a broad range of telecom industry developments, regularly interacts with the senior management of companies in India's telecom sector and has been directly responsible for delegate and speaker acquisition for prominent events such as Mobile Broadband Summit, 4G World India, and Next Generation Packet Transport Network.

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