BSNL Expresses "Dissatisfaction" over 4G Network Development by TCS-led Consortium

BSNL wrote to TCS referring to the extended deadline the consortium led by TCS was given and the lack of rollout of RAN despite that.

VoicenData Bureau
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BSNL 4G to see more delays

BSNL has written to TCS to express dissatisfaction with the progress of the 4G PoC. It referred to the extended deadline the consortium led by TCS has had and the lack of rollout of RAN despite that.

BSNL Not Happy with Work on its 4G Network

In January, BSNL had issued an EoI document for BSNL 4G, which has been long overdue. After months of considerations and tests, the consortium led by TCS, and consisting of C-DoT and Tejas Networks, emerged as the choice. BSNL selected the consortium to supply core and radio equipment to the test sites to bolster its 4G rollout.

However, on November 8, the state-run telco wrote to TCS. In the three-page letter, it stated, "it is to emphasize that M/s TCS has not installed RAN even in a single location under the terms and conditions of EoI (expression of interest) until date". In the same letter, the telco asked TCS to "expedite" the deployment. BSNL added that it won't consider a change of location for the implementation of a sample network as an excuse for the delay.

This has not been the first time when BSNL has raised issues about the technical aspect of its 4G network's deployment. Earlier, the telco had also raised concerns about the availability of radio equipment.

It said, “based on the reports submitted by M/s TCS, only 20 watts of radio in a few bands have been delivered, which is not in line with the terms and conditions of EoI". It added, "it is understood that M/s TCS is developing these remote radio heads (RRH) now that the product is not readily available".

TCS, on the other hand, said nothing of the letter. Talking with ETTelecom, it said, “we can not comment on strategic commitments. However, it can be noted that we, together with our partners, are committed to the successful implementation of the proof-of-concept, and we are making good progress towards achieving the goals".

What's Going on With BSNL 4G?

BSNL has been slipping down ever since the private players introduced 4G back in 2016. For the state-run telco, a successful 4G deployment can mean a turnaround of fortunes.

In October, the telco had written to the consortium to keep it compliant with the EoI. It read, “attention of M/s TCS and M/s ITI is hereby drawn to clause no. 9.3.5 of Section-3 Part B of the EoI dated 01.01.2021 wherein it has categorically been specified that the eNode-Bs shall have 40W”. Along with this, the telco has asked the consortium to submit the PoC equipment faster for testing.

TCS also has to supply a macro base station consisting of BBU/RRH and massive MIMO through one OEM. In the same month, BSNL had asked the consortium to present its technical evidence within 120 days. However, BSNL has now extended the deadline to 31 December 2021. So far, the work had been proceeding in the right direction. In October, the telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had made a first call over BSNL's 4G test network.

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