Six firms vie for huge India telecoms order

by Dave


Telecoms equipment makers Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks [NSN.UL] are competing with four other firms in a tender potentially worth $9 billion to provide wireless infrastructure to India’s Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL).

Bidders in the tender for a total of 93 million GSM lines, the world’s largest such order, include Huawei Technologies, Alcatel-Lucent and Nortel Networks (NT.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) (NT.N: Quote, Profile, Research), BSNL Chairman Kuldeep Goyal said.

State-run BSNL’s lack of infrastructure has hampered its capacity to add wireless subscribers, and it has fewer mobile users than private-sector rivals Bharti Airtel Ltd, Reliance Communications and Vodafone Plc-controlled Vodafone Essar.

India is the world’s second-largest mobile market, with nearly 300 million wireless users in July and more than 8 million users signing up each month.