BANGALORE, India Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd., (BSNL), the state-owned telecom services company, will float a tender offer for telecom equipment worth nearly $5 billion, one of the largest ever here.
The tender is intended to fund BSNL's expansion program for adding up to 60 million new mobile subscriptions here. BSNL currently has a capacity of about 16 million lines.
The tender offer will be floated in four weeks, said A. K. Sinha, BSNL's chairman and managing director.
The expansion program includes the launch of 3G services. At least 15 million of the proposed 60 million new lines will be for 3G subscriptions, he said. No date has been set for the launch of 3G services, but it is likely to be in early 2006, according to a Press Trust of India report from Calcutta on Wednesday (Sept. 7).
BSNL and the other state-owned telecom service provider, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd., are stipulating local manufacturing of equipment purchased under the expansion plan. The move is expected to speed the plans of many global equipment suppliers to set up manufacturing or assembly plants here.