BSNL 60 mn line tender in March 1st week: Maran | india | Hindustan Times
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BSNL 60 mn line tender in March 1st week: Maran

BSNL would invite bids for adding 60 million GSM lines envisaging an investment of over $4.5 billion.

india Updated: Feb 25, 2006 15:22 IST
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Communication and IT Minister Dayanidhi Maran on Saturday announced that state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited would invite bids for adding 60 million GSM lines envisaging an investment of over $4.5 billion.

"We are witnessing a record growth in the addition of subscribers in last few months this needs to be continuously fueled. Public sector companies BSNL and MTNL are extremely aggressive. BSNL will float a tender for adding 60 million lines in the first week of March," Maran said on the sidelines of function to launch Ericsson's Global R&D centre in Chennai.

Of the 60 million lines, 30 per cent order (18 million lines) would go to another public sector equipment supplier ITI, who has a technical tie-up with French equipment manufacturer Alcatel, under reserve quota.

Complementing the two PSUs for announcing One-India tariff plan, enabling subscribers to make domestic long distance call (STD) through out the country for just one rupee, the minister said "wait for March one, more than 90 per cent of the telecom operators or may be all will join the bandwagon and announce similar tariff plans.

"I won't be surprised if they are even more aggressive and BSNL may have to face a stiff competition from his counterparts," he said, adding that One-India was just a beginning there was lot more competition to come in the telecom sector in the coming few months.

Citing an example of removing barriers in the long distance arena both domestic and international (STD and ISD), Maran said the effects of new policy should become visible in next few months.

Telecom is the only sector in which India has overtaken China in terms of adding new subscribers. "In January we added 5.3 million new subscribers, going at this rate we should achieve the target of having 250 million telephone users much before 2007," the minister said.

He also invited global companies like Ericsson to set up manufacturing facilities in Chennai. The Swedish company has one facility in Jaipur for manufacturing radio base stations.