New Delhi: After a gap of around 5 years, state-run telecom company BSNL is set to start its next phase of network expansion and has selected equipment vendor ZTE, Huawei and Alcatel Lucent for adding 14.37 million lines.
"We have finalised (these) vendors and even given them advance purchase order for the equipments in North, South and East zone. By month end, all circle heads will submit requirement of their divisions. After this, we will place final orders," BSNL Chairman and Managing Director R K Upadhyay said.
The company's network has been suffering due to lack of equipment to handle traffic on its network.
"Mobile telephony started in 1996. BSNL got permit after five years in 2001 to start it. Within a year, BSNL acquired top position. Shortage of equipments pulled us down but now we will strive to regain our leadership," he said.
He added the order is sufficient to significantly enhance quality of service offered by the company.
The bids for 14.37 million lines were invited in July 2011 under phase seven of expansion. Telecom equipment major and Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Network had also bid for the tender.
This phase of network expansion, includes planning, financing, engineering, supply, installation, testing, commissioning and annual maintenance.
The last tender was finalised by the company for expansion in 2006 for 45 million lines, which was later reduced to 14 million lines in 2007.
After this, the company floated two more tenders for 93 million lines in 2008 and 5.5 million lines in 2010, but both the tenders were later cancelled.
At the end of March, 2012, BSNL had 10.72 percent market share in the mobile telephony segment with over 98.51 million customers.