ZTE may end up being the sole supplier of GSM equipment to Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd even though the state-run company had decided to give out the contract of 15 million lines in 60:40 ratio to two different suppliers.
ZTE would probably bag the Rs 4,000-crore deal since its competitive bidders – Huawei, Alcatel Lucent, Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks – have declined to match the lowest price of $50 per line quoted by ZTE. BSNL had floated a tender in July 2011 to buy equipment worth about Rs 4,000 crore to add capacity to its existing 2G network and improve services in the north, east and south zones.
While ZTE had emerged as the lowest bidder by quoting a price of $50 a line, Huawei had bid the second lowest. According to the terms and conditions of the BSNL tender, Huawei would have to match ZTE’s price to win the contract in the eastern zone. BSNL has been planning to improve the rollout of its pan-India 2G services for the past five years and is actively working towards the target.