Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has invited e-tender for planning, testing, deployment and annual maintenance of its 4G network across four operational zones in addition to Delhi and Mumbai circles for 57,000 sites on a turnkey basis.

Further, BSNL has also sought proposals through the expression of interest (EoI) for prior registration for proof-of-concept (PoC) from the Indian companies showing interest to participate in the bidding process.

BSNL has stated that if any Indian registered company meets all other eligibility conditions except technical proven-ness of the equipment, then such companies can register for participation in PoC as per the provisions of this EoI so that on successful completion of PoC, their equipment meets technical proven-ness requirements for making them eligible to participate in the upcoming 4G tender of BSNL.

Analysts have pointed out that this development could, however, discourage global vendors such as Nokia and ZTE from participating in BSNL’s network expansion exercise.

The registration fee is Rs 500,000 and BSNL is going ahead with e-tendering process for seeking companies’ interest. However, no registration fee is required for the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME).