BSNL Board clears 1 lakh TCS-led 4G sites, GoM decision likely soon

BSNL’s Board of Directors has recommended the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)-led consortium for the deployment of 100,000 network sites in preparation for the launch of BSNL’s 4G commercial service. A senior official indicated that BSNL will soon present its perspective to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). Once the DoT receives clearance from the Group of Ministers (GoM), it will proceed to issue a purchase order. This decision follows a recent internal meeting chaired by Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, which aimed to expedite the procurement of network equipment for BSNL’s 4G venture.

TCS, headquartered in Mumbai and a part of the Tata group, will supply 4G equipment for the 100,000 sites, with a total cost of Rs 24,556.37 crore. This includes approximately Rs 13,000 crore for network gear costs, as well as third-party items and a 10-year annual maintenance contract (AMC).

TCS and state-run ITI Limited had previously submitted their bids in November of last year to deploy BSNL’s next-generation network across four zones, following a successful proof of concept (PoC). While ITI has a 20% reservation in network procurement, the company proposed using equipment provided by the TCS-led consortium, which includes core network gear from the government-owned Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT).

TCS intends to supply the core equipment within one year after receiving the purchase order (PO), while the delivery of radio equipment is expected to take place over a period of 18-24 months.

Last year, the indigenous telecom stack setup for BSNL’s 4G network underwent testing for the capability to handle 10 million simultaneous phone calls.