Indian state-run telco BSNL has awarded GSM network equipment supply contracts to Chinese firm ZTE and French-American company Alcatel-Lucent.
The deal announcement was made yesterday, by BSNL’s director for consumer mobile phone services R K Agarwal in New Delhi.
It comes after Nokia Siemens Networks, Huawei and L M Ericsson dropped out of the bidding for the network gear together with Alcatel-Lucent, as they were not able to match the very low price quoted by ZTE.
However, Alcatel-Lucent emerged as the lowest bidder for the Intelligent Network software platform to manage BSNL’s prepaid customers.
BSNL’s order for 10.37 million GSM connections is its biggest tender, and the operator issued advance purchase orders to the five companies saying they could share the equipment purchase deal at the price quoted by the winner.
However, the big telco suppliers refused to take part in the tender under those conditions.
Currently, BSNL has 97.7 million customers and a 10.62 per cent mobile phone market share in India.