July 9, 2007

BSNL to drop 3G plans in GSM

IT and Communications Minister A Raja, on Monday, said that he has advised state-run BSNL to drop the 3G component from its 45.5 million line GSM tender, citing the lack of a policy for implementing third generation network.

If BSNL were to take the minister's advice, the public sector company may have to reconsider disqualification of US equipment supplier Motorola and its Chinese partner ZTE from the tender - a quarter of which was for rolling out 3G lines.

"I have advised BSNL to drop 3G and go for 2G as there is no 3G policy in the country," Raja said.

He, however, said that it was for BSNL's Board to decide whether or not to go with the suggestion.

BSNL had selected Sweden's Ericsson and Finland's Nokia for executing the contracts, while disqualifying Motorola on the ground that it did not have any expertise in 3G networks.

Motorola had taken BSNL to the Delhi High Court over the move, but it later dropped the case.

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