$6B Wireless Winners

3:45 PM -- Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. are guaranteed to share Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) 's massive $6 billion mobile network contract, as they are the only vendors to meet the operator's requirements, according to a Hindhu Business Line report.

That is, unless the government kicks Huawei's bid into touch on security grounds and leaves BSNL without a qualified bidder for 50 percent of the tender.

The tender for 93 million lines is split into four regional zones -- North, South, East, and (wait for it!) West. Only in the Eastern zone, where both Huawei and Ericsson bid, is there more than one qualified bidder.

Bids from Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Nokia Networks , and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) were counted out for technical reasons.

The next stage is for the sealed bids to be opened and prices compared. However, this will only happen once BSNL receives clearance from government authorities.

This may not be as straightforward as it appears. The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs has raised concerns over the security implications of Huawei, which supposedly has links to the Chinese military, being so heavily involved in a strategically important industry.

This is not the first time security concerns have threatened to scupper Huawei's success. (See Security Unease Dogs 21CN.) The security card, it seems, is being played with increasing regularity now that Huawei's technical credentials are well established.

— Catherine Haslam, Asia Editor, Light Reading

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DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 4:04:44 PM
re: $6B Wireless Winners

I'll save you the trouble.

Here's what NSN is saying:

"We have not received any communication from BSNL on the results of its tender process. We are confident that we submitted a response to the BSNL tender process that fulfilled all technical requirements, as well as addressing further clarification required following the submission.

"We are an existing supplier to BSNL in its north and south zones and were a qualified vendor for BSNL’s pan-India Phase V bid.

"It will be interesting to see what lies behind this press speculation."


Ben Roome 12/5/2012 | 4:04:44 PM
re: $6B Wireless Winners

Visit http://blogs.nokiasiemensnetwo... to see a comment on these rumours.

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