BSNL: Homebred gear vendor Tejas eyes home broadband; to bid for BSNL 4G via system integrator

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NEW DELHI: Homegrown telecom gear maker Tejas Networks wireline broadband expansion in the country will create a $5 billion opportunity for domestic vendors who can in turn help reduce the import bill. It also plans to bid for BSNL‘4G tender through a system intergator partner.

“We have been investing in the area of wireless 4G equipment and will partner with system integrators to bid for BSNL’s 4G tender. The same equipment is upgradable to 5G,” Sanjay Nayak, CEO and MD, Tejas Networks told ET. “We will submit a proof of concept (PoC) with our partner soon.”

BSNL last week floated a new tender, inviting expressions of interest et b(EoI) for installation of around 57,000 4G sites across north, east, west and south zones. The DoT and BSNL will have a pre-bid meeting on January 11 with potential gear vendors and their partners.

“The telco revenues from wireless are as high as 90%. Wireline is going to be the next phase of expansion. We will reach 100 million fiber broadband subscribers in the next 3-4 years as per reports. It is going to be the single largest transformation,” Nayak said. “Equipment required is available locally and we don’t need to import.”

Nayak said that private telecom operators have started buying GPON equipment from local vendors like Tejas. A large part of BSNL’s optical transmission network is supported by Tejas.

“We can scale production 10 times in India with the help of the new PLI scheme to support local demand and reduce $5 billion import bill just for the FTTx segment.”

The executive revealed that 70% of the BharatNet project requirement has been fulfilled by Tejas’ broadband products. “All private telcos use our products. BharatNet gave volume to us and made us globally competitive. We now export to other markets.”

Tejas has developed products on the latest 10G-PON technology, he revealed.

The pandemic forced scores of employees to work from home, leading to an increased demand for broadband connectivity for work and entertainment.

Reliance Jio has been expanding its JioFiber broadband survive in the country while Airtel is taking the LCO route to expand coverage in new cities. Jio and Airtel have 1.7 million and 2.7 million fixed broadband subscribers, respectively, as per Trai’s October data.

BSNL and MTNL have a total base of 8.3 million broadband subscribers while other smaller wired broadband players had a total 8.9 million subscribers in October.

According to Motilal Oswal, smaller broadband players increased their market share during the lockdown to 43.2% in August 2020 from 40.5% in April 2020.





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