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BSNL Cancels Huawei GSM Tender Covering Southern India

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Note -- this news article is more than a year old.

India's BSNL is reported to have cancelled the 20 million line GSM network contract it had awarded to China's Huawei after the conditions imposed by Huawei were unacceptable.

"There was no scope for accepting conditions as the order was placed after detailed negotiations and as a government owned firm (BSNL) we do not accept conditions," a senior BSNL official told The Economic Times newspaper.

Huawei spokesperson declined to comment. Although Huawei has repeatedly denied it, the company has often been subject to rumours about its alleged close links to the Chinese government and military. The Indian government has put pressure on BSNL to make extra certain that there are no software exploits within any equipment supplied by Huawei.

The negotiations with Ericsson covering the North and Eastern regions are also still not finalised, and sources indicated to the newspaper that the company could consider retendering the whole lot.

Earlier this year, local media reported that if complications with the Huawei tender did crop up, then Alcatel-Lucent may be asked to take over the contract, although it would be expected to match Huawei's tender prices.

BSNL has apparently shortlisted Ericsson for 25-million lines for the North Zone and 18-million lines for the East Zone, while it had given Huawei 25-million lines for the South Zone. The Western Zone is in limbo with BSNL initially wanting to award the contract to Huawei, but then being told by the government not to. A BSNL spokesman later contended that the Western Zone was not a priority anyway. Of the total, some 21 million lines must be provisioned for 3G services as well as GSM.

The various contracts are estimated to be collectively worth around US$6.5 billion.

On the web: The Economic Times

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Tags: huawei  bsnl  India