3:20 PM This time it's a $2B network for the armed forces... Huawei need not apply

September 21, 2009

1 Min Read
BSNL: Love Me Tender

3:20 PM -- Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) , India's state-run telco, is to issue another $1 billion tender at the end of the month, this time for the development and rollout of a new communications network for the armed forces, according to this Economic Times report.

The tender has been in the offing for a couple of years but came much closer to reality when the defense and communications ministries reached an agreement that would the release 2G and 3G spectrum for commercial use on the basis that the armed forces would get a purpose-built network to meet their needs. (See India's Operators Set for Spectrum Windfall.)

The tender, estimated at around $2 billion, is for telecom and IT infrastructure and, as such, will attract interest from India's software services as well as the usual networking suspects. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. , Infosys Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: INFY), Wipro Ltd. (NYSE: WIT), HCL Infosystems Ltd. , and Tech Mahindra Ltd. are amongst the IT firms expected to put in a bid, while Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), and Nokia Networks are expected to pitch their networks and services offerings, although NSN may be wary after its last experience with BSNL's tender process ended in court. (See NSN Probes BSNL Bid Process.)

Notably absent from the list of expected bidders is Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. -- given that security concerns appear to have already cost the Chinese vendor a commercial contract with BSNL, its chances of being considered for a defense contract appear to range from zero to absolute zero. (See Huawei Touts $2B Deal From BSNL and Huawei May Lose to ITI in India.)

— Catherine Haslam, Asia Editor, Light Reading

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