Posted by telcobizpedia on June 6, 2009
6 Jun 2009, 0056 hrs IST, Joji Thomas Philip, ET Bureau
NEW DELHI: State-owned BSNL on Friday issued fresh tenders to run its WiMax operations, even as it tightened the eligibility criteria and introduced a slew of additional safe-guards in the wake of the telco being forced to abort its previous tender in light of dubious operators making it to the final shortlist.
“We have issued fresh tenders for companies to run our WiMax services across 16 circles on a revenue share franchisee basis. This time around, only original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and system integrators can bid. We are confident that shell or paper companies will not be eligible to bid,” BSNL’s chairman and managing director Kuldeep Goyal told ET.
According to Mr Goyal, the telco was looking at global OEMs, such as Ericsson and Cisco, to bid for its WiMax tenders. The logic: OEMs have the technical capabilities to launch and operate such networks especially since they manufacture the same. “We are also looking at system integrators, such as IT companies, to run the operations. All bidders must have a minimum turnover of Rs 100 crore each for the last two years,” Mr Goyal added. In fact, the tender documents will be issued only after proof of turnover is shown.
ET had first reported on June 3 that BSNL would seek fresh bids for franchisees across the country to roll out technology that allows users the wireless access to high-speed internet and other data applications over a large area. BSNL expects WiMax to generate multi-billion dollar revenues over the next 10 years.
The telco had cancelled the earlier tender after its own investigations revealed that five of the six shortlisted companies — WiExpert Communications, SV Telecom Systems, Digitelco Communications, Spectrus Communications and Technotial Infoways — were acting as ‘fronts’ for certain individuals. It was found that these companies shared the same corporate details, notaries, auditors and dates of incorporation, and even their last annual general body meeting was shown to be held on the same day. BSNL had also come under pressure from its labour unions to scrap the tender following reports of wide-scale corruption in the methodologies adopted to shortlist successful bidders.
Companies, which want to participate in the new tender, have been given a deadline till August 4, 2009, to submit their bids. A host of companies, which were mysteriously disqualified from the earlier tender, are expected to place fresh bids — these include Soma Networks, Cisco-backed Terracom, Unwire India and Welcomm Communications, which has a tie-up Huawei and Aricent.
BSNL already has a tie-up with US-headquartered Soma Networks, which runs WiMax services for the PSU in the circles of Gujarat, Maharashtra (including Goa) and Andhra Pradesh. The deal with Soma has also raised concerns considering that BSNL had appointed this franchisee without going through a bidding process.
Besides, the WiMax forum has also pointed out that Soma Networks was deploying mobile WiMax in FDD format, a technology standard that is not recognised by the forum globally.
Posted in BSNL, Equipment Manufacturer, Government, Outsourcing | Tagged: BSNL, Cisco, Digitelco, Ericsson, Huawei, Kuldeep Goyal, outsourcing, revenue, Soma Networks, Spectrus, SV Telecom, Technotial Infoways, Terracom, Unwire India, Welcomm, WiExpert, WiMAX | Leave a Comment »
Posted by telcobizpedia on June 6, 2009
Thomas K Thomas on The Hindu Business Line on June 6, 2009
New Delhi, June 5 Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd on Friday invited bids afresh from private players to roll out WiMax services on a franchisee basis.
The PSU floated a new tender after it scrapped the earlier one to rope in a strategic partner.
The earlier tender ran into rough weather after it was discovered that five of the six bidders shortlisted by the PSU existed only on paper. The five companies had identical corporate information including contact address, contact person, e-mail id, and lawyer.
BSNL’s technical committee had disqualified global companies including Cisco and Soma Networks even as it chose to keep the bids of the five firms.
Political parties, including the BJP, had alleged corruption at the highest level. The issue had also caught the attention of the Prime Minister’s Office.
BSNL has now invited bids in 16 circles giving another opportunity to the international companies. The tender documents will be available from June 12. The technical bids will be opened on August 4. Companies with a turnover of over Rs 100 crore for two consecutive financial years can apply. The franchisee company will have to invest in setting up the WiMax network. The company offering the highest revenue share to BSNL will be selected.
BSNL had earlier selected Soma Network on a pilot basis for Gujarat, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. Therefore there will be no competitive bidding in these three circles. The PSU is also in the process of issuing another tender for buying 7000 WiMax base stations to set up community service centres in the rural areas.
The State-owned company is increasingly adopting the franchisee model to reduce costs. It is already offering IPTV services with HFCL on revenue-sharing basis. The PSU has invited bids from private players to set up Internet Data Centres (IDC) in various parts of the country on a revenue share basis.
The centres are expected to be set up over the next six months after which the PSU will go after outsourcing contracts for services such as web hosting, co-location, data warehousing and Internet managed services.
Posted in BSNL, Data Center, Managed Services | Tagged: BSNL, HFCL, IDC, IPTV, PMO, Soma Networks, WiMAX | Leave a Comment »
Posted by telcobizpedia on June 3, 2009
3 Jun 2009, 0223 hrs IST, Joji Thomas Philip, ET Bureau
NEW DELHI: India’s largest telecom firm BSNL will invite fresh tenders to run its WiMax operations
, after the previous attempt was aborted in light of dubious operators making it to the final shortlist. The state-run firm will now seek fresh bids for franchisees across the country to roll out technology that allows users wireless access to high-speed internet and other data applications
over a large area, according to two top executives of the company. BSNL expects WiMax to generate multi-billion dollar revenues over the next 10 years.
ET had reported on February 20 that a string of ‘shell’ companies that exist only on paper had made it to BSNL shortlist for WiMax.
The telco subsequently cancelled the tender after its own investigations revealed that five of the six shortlisted companies — WiExpert Communications, SV Telecom Systems, Digitelco Communications,
Spectrus Communications and Technotial Infoways — were acting as ‘fronts’ for certain individuals.
It was found that these companies shared the same corporate details, notaries, auditors and dates of incorporation, and even their last annual general body meeting was shown to be held on the same day.
BSNL came under pressure from its labour unions to scrap the tender following reports of wide-scale corruption in the methodologies adopted to shortlist successful bidders. Doubts were also raised on the disqualification of several companies with proven track record of offering WiMax services including Soma Networks, Cisco-backed Terracom, Unwire India and Welcomm Communications — it had a tie-up Huawei and Aricent — in the earlier shortlist.
This has strengthened the allegations of a possible scandal especially since BSNL had failed to provide valid reasons for the disqualification. During the recent election campaign, opposition BJP had alleged that five of the six shortlisted companies were promoted by telecom minister A Raja’s confidant Sanjay Kapoor and had sought a CBI probe into the issue.
“BJP demands that allotment of BSNL’s WiMax franchise should be suspended immediately and the telecom minister be sacked as reports suggest wholesale loot and corruption in the process,” party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar had said during a press conference
in Delhi on May 6.
Earlier this year, the WiMAX Forum, an industry association that has more than 530 member companies globally and 50 members in India had warned BSNL that companies existing only on paper are exploiting lax eligibility criteria for bids invited by the telco for franchisee operators for its WiMax services.
The Forum had also alleged that these newly floated front companies have approached global majors to buy them out quoting BSNL’s spectrum and network assets as valuation criteria. “This is a result of the lax eligibility conditions in the tender which these paper companies are exploiting,” the association had said.
Posted in Spectrum | Tagged: A Raja, Aricent, BSNL, Cisco, Digitelco, Government, Huawei, Soma Networks, Spectrus, SV Telecom, Technotial Infoways, Terracom, Unwire India, Welcomm, WiExpert, WiMAX | Leave a Comment »
Posted by telcobizpedia on May 31, 2009
The Hindu Business Line on 31 May 2009
Thomas K. Thomas
New Delhi, May 30 Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd has invited bids from private players to set up Internet Data Centres (IDCs) in various parts of the country on a revenue sharing basis.
The centres are expected to be set up over the next six months after which the PSU will go for outsourcing contracts for services such as Web hosting, co-location, data warehousing and Internet managed services.
A data centre is a facility where customer can outsource the management and day-to-day operations of their Web sites or other IP connected applications. Customers can purchase the server hardware, rack space, bandwidth and network equipment. In addition, customers get a secure place to physically house their equipment with regulated power, dedicated Internet connection, security, and fire detection equipment.
Although some companies have chosen to address their requirements in-house and to maintain complete control over their Internet Infrastructure, the pressures of provisioning IT Infrastructure are increasingly leading a lot of corporate houses to consider outsourcing their e-business infrastructure requirements.
Private telecom players such as Reliance Communications and Tata Communications are already offering such services. Then there are Internet Service Providers such as Sify which are also in this segment. These private players may bid for the BSNL project.
According to the expression of interest floated by BSNL, the private partner will have to invest the entire amount required to set up the IDCs. BSNL will provide its national communication infrastructure as the backbone for the proposed centres.
As part of the shared hosting services, BSNL plans to bundle in free email accounts, depending on the package customer subscribes to.
“Outsourcing the management and monitoring of mission-critical Internet operations is crucial for stability in an increasingly complex networking environment. Beyond the sheer complexity of infrastructure itself, the uncertainties of ever-changing relationships with telcos, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and rapidly changing technologies often render it difficult for businesses to make the best choices. BSNL’s managed services will provide cutting-edge industry expertise to speed up the time-to-market, in the most cost-effective manner,” said a BSNL official.
The PSU is also planning to offer messaging solutions which will enable customers to outsource their entire e-mail operations.
BSNL has been increasingly adopting the public-private partnership model for its new services. It has, for example, partnered with Soma Networks for offering WiMax based broadband services in three States. Similarly, the PSU has roped in HFCL to roll out its IPTV services.
Analysts said that the franchisee model lowers the risk and cost for the PSU since the private partner invests all the money required for the project.
Posted in Before 11 June 2009 | Tagged: BSNL, ebusiness, email, HFCL, IDC, Infrastructure, Internet, Internet Data Centres, IPTV, outsourcing, Reliance, SiFy, Soma Networks, Tata, VAS, WiMAX | Leave a Comment »
Posted by telcobizpedia on May 11, 2009
From www.ciol.com on Monday, May 11, 2009
NEW DELHI, INDIA: Soma Networks, a US-based provider of mobile worldwide interoperability for microwave access (WiMAX) products and services, plans to launch compact WiMAX-enabled devices in India within six months, says a report from Business Standards.
It will co-market the product along with telecom service provider state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL).
BSNL partnered Soma to deploy WiMAX service in the three lucrative circles of Gujarat, Maharashtra (including Goa) and Andhra Pradesh. However, the company has been mired in controversy ever since this exclusive contract with BSNL since the deal was done without floating expressions of interest (EOIs). In February this year, Soma and BSNL had launched their WiMAX services in Ahmedabad, Gujarat and has acquired around 1,000 customers in the enterprise segment.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: BSNL, Soma Networks, WiMAX | Leave a Comment »