Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd [BSNL] has the largest Wireline Network in India. It was also the largest mobile service provider in 2005 and gradually fell to the number two spot and is now at number four behind Bharti-Airtel, RCom and Vodafone Essar India.
BSNL’s strategy to fight Airtel and Rcom was disturbed by interference from IT and Telecom Ministry by disqualifying Motorola in the Mega GSM Tender which put the ball in the High Court of Delhi. Six months later when the stage was all set, A. Raja the new IT Minister raised an issue of lowering the tender.
Finally, the original tender of 45 Million lines was reduced to 23 Million lines at a reduced price of $97/ line from $107 / line to enable immediate expansion for BSNL. Ericsson and Nokia-Siemens headquarters have to approve the tender at reduced rate before their Indian subsidiaries can go ahead with the implementation.
A. Raja is now opening a larger tender for 50 Million GSM lines. If A. Raja is an ethical and man of integrity, then he has to put a ceiling of $75 / GSM line because he has argued that Ericsson and other vendors were doing the work for other Telcos such as MTNL at that rate.