BSNL 4G: Conforms to Indian core conditions, says Mavenir's Sanjay BakayaNEW DELHI: Mavenir India, a unit of the US-based telecom software company said that it adheres to the state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) bid conditions in line with the Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India), and wanted to disrupt the telecom gear market with cloud-native infrastructure.

“We are in alignment with the requirement mentioned in BSNL request for proposals (RFP) for their fourth generation (4G) foray. Our 4G core is fully in compliance with an Indian requirement as specified in Expression of Interest (EoI),” Sanjay Bakaya, Country Head & Regional Vice President- India & South Asia at Mavenir told ETTelecom.

Bakaya, responding to a question of company’s foreign-origins, following a section of industry’s concerns around its participation in the BSNL’s bidding process for gear supply, said that the company was eying an opportunity to showcase indigenous technology.

“We always wanted to be a part of the 4G ecosystem in India and contribute towards building a self-reliant India in the telecom gear space and disrupt the oligopoly in this market with our open, disaggregated and cloud-native infrastructure,” the top executive said.

In January this year, the state-run BSNL rolled out a fresh notice inviting e-tender for planning, testing, deployment and annual maintenance of its much-awaited 4G network across four operational zones in addition to Delhi and Mumbai circles for 57,000 sites on a turnkey basis.

India’s fourth-largest telco sought proposals through the Expression of Interest (EoI) for prior registration for proof-of-concept (PoC) from Indian companies showing interest to participate in the bidding process.

BSNL wanted to deploy Indian core network in line with the telecom department’s technical committee suggestions. But Mavenir, which was touted to be ready with a locally-made core, has come under scrutiny from domestic industry.

Industry insiders say that the company’s proposed partnership with ITI did not materialise since it was unable to satisfy the conditions including transfer of technology (ToT).

“We are unaware of any such concerns, as the Mavenir India is incorporated and registered in India and is bound by the law of land as any other Indian company. In our view, it satisfies all the prerequisites of BSNL EoI,” Bakaya added.

Pardeep Kohli-headed Mavenir said that two-third of its staff contributes toward research and development (R&D) activities with a considerable investment.

“Our main R&D centre is in Bangalore with offshoots in Gurugram, Pune, Mumbai and Bhubaneswar,” the executive said, adding that it employs nearly 2,500 headcount in the country.

BSNL had to scrap the previous notice inviting tender it rolled out on March 23, 2020 following the allegations of restrictive conditions by homegrown companies led by a Delhi-based industry group.

Following the lack of readiness by Indian companies, the Empowered Technology Group (ETG) headed by Principal Scientific Advisor K VijayaRaghavan, has finally approved the state-run telco to come up with a new tender inviting bids from multinationals such as Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung.




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