Reacting to a news item published yesterday on various platforms, telecom equipment supplier Nokia Networks on Friday clarified that it has not rejected the purchase order from MTNL. The public sector telecom firm seeks to expand its network and Nokia Networks turned out to be the lowest bidder when the tender was floated last year.
"Nokia Networks was awarded L1 in the MTNL tender in January 2014 and subsequently in March 2015 an Advance Purchase Order (APO) was offered and has already submitted the Bank Guarantee. MTNL management accepted the TEC (technical evaluation committee) recommendations to mutually discuss and agree with the L1 bidder the final security agreement. Nokia is extremely keen to work closely with MTNL business and partner them in their vision to provide world-class services to their customers," a Nokia Networks statement said.
"Nokia Networks have unconditionally complied to APO and including the security agreement. We now look forward to receiving the Purchase Order at the earliest from MTNL to help them expand and modernize 2G and 3G networks and provide superior mobile broadband experience to their customers," the statement said further.
On Thursday, Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in a written reply to Lok Sabha had said, "MTNL placed an Advance Purchase Order on March 4, 2015, on Nokia Solutions and Networks India Ltd. In response, the vendor has not accepted the security clause in the APO."
"MTNL is yet to take a final decision in the matter," Prasad also said in his response.
MTNL plans to upgrade its network with investment outlay of about Rs 400 crore. Under the project, MTNL has decided to add 1,080 number of 3G sites and 800 number of 2G sites in Delhi and 1,080 number of 3G and 566 number of 2G sites in Mumbai to its network.
Nokia Networks was shortlisted in December 2013 as the lowest bidder for installing all the 3,526 mobile sites.
Alcatel Lucent (ALU), Huawei Technologies and ZTE also qualified in technical rounds for the project which is estimated to cost about Rs 400 crore.
In April, Nokia and ALU decided to merge their units globally. The deal is expected to close in first of 2016.
After installation of additional mobile towers, the peak download speed on MTNL's 3G mobile network is expected to reach 21.1 megabit per second from present peak speed of 3.6 mbps.
With PTI inputs
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Updated Date: Jul 31, 2015 18:46:11 IST