New Delhi, NFAPost: Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) along with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Tejas Networks may deploy 4G network for state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) as rival consortiums have backed out from trials following technical failures.

Commenting on the development, an industry source told a news source said it is learnt that multiple consortiums other than TCS-CDoT-Tejas have refused to further undertake field trials due to integration issues with partners supplying core network technology. BSNL is planning to forfeit their security deposit of Rs 5-crore each.

BSNL issued a letter of intent in July this year to five eligible bidders mandated to use Indian core technology while deploying next-generation networks. These include L&T, Tech Mahindra, TCS and HFCL.

C-DoT Executive Director and Board chairman Rajkumar Upadhyay 4G deployment will be historical and C-DoT is confident that with necessary support from the Department of Telecommunications in line with the Atmanirbhar vision. “We will be able to not only fulfill BSNL’s current needs but can compete worldwide with our proven technology,” Rajkumar Upadhyay told the news source.

As a part of arrangement, C-DoT is testing its core network together with Tejas’s radio equipment and billing and other software components from TCS in Ambala and Chandigarh.

Tech Mahindra partnered with Pertsol for core equipment, and Sterlite and Altiostar for the radio network. HFCL and L&T joined hands with Pertsol for core and Mavenir for radio equipment.

Rajkumar Upadhyay added that the firm together with partners have a seamless network scalability roadmap, and plans to upgrade BSNL network to fifth generation or 5G non-standalone (NSA) by end of 2022, and 5G stand alone (SA) by 2023.

BSNL, however, mandated 4G suppliers to deploy an upgradable network to 5G technology. In January 2021, BSNL had released detailed notice inviting e-tender, for planning, testing, deployment and annual maintenance of its much-awaited 4G network across four operational zones in addition to Delhi and Mumbai circles for 57,000 sites on a turnkey basis, and sought proof of concept for Indian companies and consortiums willing to participate in its upcoming 4G tender, in order to test their network quality.

PK Purwar-headed telco’s 4G network launch has been dragged following a series of controversies involving homegrown vendors and multinational rivals, and had to scrap the notice inviting tender (NIT), released in March last year on the back of outcry from local telecom companies alleging restrictive conditions.

Centre has made a budgetary allocation of Rs 24,084 crore for 4G spectrum allocation in the financial year 2021-22 to the two state-owned telecom operators including Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL). Currently, BSNL maintains MTNL’s mobile networks in Mumbai and Delhi.

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