In a setback to state-owned BSNL, the Delhi High Court on Thursday restrained the PSU from awarding any contract for their GSM network expansion till the next date of hearing on November 16.
A Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Kailash Gambhir was hearing the petition filed by US telecom major Motorola, which was disqualified by BSNL on technical parameters from participating in the bidding. Motorola has challenged BSNL's decision before the High Court.
Earlier last month, BSNL, had opened the financial bids for the mega expansion of its GSM network adding over 45 million lines over a period of three years at an estimated cost of about Rs 200 bn. Swedish company Ericsson had emerged the lowest bidder followed by Nokia of Finland.
When contacted SD Saxena, Director (Finance), BSNL told "we respect the direction of the Delhi High Court. Since the matter is subjudice, we cannot give any further comment in this regard." The telecom PSU is currently in the process of evaluation of the financial bids of both the players, which is expected to be over very soon.
If selected after the due process of evaluation, Ericsson would be awarded 60 per cent of the contract, while Nokia the remaining 40 per cent for 45.5 million lines expansion project.
According to sources, Ericsson had quoted a price of about 107 dollars per line while Nokia had asked for 177 dollars.
The officials of both companies declined to comment on the financial figures quoted by them.