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Hurdles to BSNL purchase programme

New Delhi, Oct. 1: The US embassy’s letter to Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd has stalled the procurement of 7.45 lakh lines telephone equipment based on code division multiple access (CDMA) technology, the tender for which was to be opened on September 30.

CDMA (code division multiple access) is the mobile technology used by basic operators to reach inaccessible and remote areas.

In India, there’s been a buzz about CDMA because the basic operators hope to provide limited mobility to their subscribers, which could pose a serious challenge to the cellular operators who use GSM technology.

Sources in Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd have now decided to extend the opening of tender by two more weeks.

The letter from the US Embassy to Prithipal Singh, chairman and managing director says, “CDMA is a new technology and would require detailed consultation and planning in order to prepare a comprehensive response to the tender documents. Being very large sized prestigious project of CDMA 1X technology, the preparation will require extensive deliberations especially on the part of bidders who do not currently have local manufacturing tieups.”

This is the second instance where BSNL has been forced to review the tenders floated by it to procure CDMA-based equipment.

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