Up­grad­ing PSU 4G ser­vices: 6-mem­ber team to re­view ten­ders

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - NEWS - Deek­sha Bhard­waj deek­sha,bhard­waj@htlive.com

NEW DELHI : The De­part­ment of Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions (DoT) will set up a six-mem­ber panel to de­cide the ten­der spec­i­fi­ca­tions to up­grade gov­ern­ment-owned tele­com com­pa­nies BSNL and MTNL’s 4G ser­vices, said of­fi­cials fa­mil­iar with the devel­op­ment.

The move comes af­ter the gov­ern­ment in­structed BSNL to not use Chi­nese equip­ment for the up­grade, which is likely to cost ₹7,000-8,000 crore, fol­low­ing Chi­nese ag­gres­sion at the border. The process will likely dis­qual­ify Chi­nese firms, an of­fi­cial said.

The of­fi­cial said a se­nior DoT of­fi­cial will head the panel and will have a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from BSNL and MTNL, two in­de­pen­dent ex­perts and an­other from the in­dus­try. “The de­lib­er­a­tions will start Mon­day and ten­ders are likely to be is­sued next week”, said the of­fi­cial. “For­mal can­cel­la­tion of pro­cure­ment of equip­ment from China will be is­sued Mon­day.” The of­fi­cial said they will en­cour­age pro­cure­ment of do­mes­tic equip­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to Ma­hesh Up­pal, a con­sul­tant on tele­com reg­u­la­tion: “In­dia may be the sec­ond largest pro­duc­ers of mo­bile phones, but 75% of the in­ter­nal com­po­nents come from China, that will make it dif­fi­cult to make the sud­den switch,” Up­pal said.

For­mer DoT ad­vi­sor (tech­nol­ogy) R K Bhat­na­gar said In­dia was equipped to han­dle the chal­lenge. “The Cen­tre for Devel­op­ment of Telem­at­ics, the gov­ern­ment’s re­search and devel­op­ment think-tank for tele­com, can be the key player on Core Net­work and their so­lu­tion will be upgrad­able to 5G also in com­ing months. In the last decade they have done lot of work,” he said

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