State-run telecom firm BSNL has issued a letter of intent to five domestic telecom equipment companies for participation in its proposed tender for 4G services, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.
According to a BSNL notice issued in January, the company had proposed to test the quality of Indian telecom equipment before letting them participate in the 4G tender to be floated by the company.
'BSNL has floated the Expression of Interest on January 1, 2021, for proof of concept from Indian Companies interested in participating in BSNL's upcoming 4G tender. Letter of Intent has been issued to 5 eligible bidders on July 1, 2021,' Minister of state for communications Devusinh Chauhan said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.
He said the government has made a budgetary allocation of Rs 24,084 crore for spectrum for 4G services in the financial year 2021-22.
The allocation is part of the Rs 69,000 crore revival package of BSNL and MTNL.
'The revival plan has been prepared considering the recommendations of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad for BSNL and a consultant for MTNL, which were made by them after consultations with various unions, associations, and employees. These revival plans were recommended by the Boards of BSNL and MTNL,' Chauhan said.
As part of the revival package, the government has provided Sovereign Guarantee of Rs 8,500 crores and Rs 6,500 crores to BSNL and MTNL respectively.
'Both BSNL and MTNL have raised bonds and utilised the funds to retire existing high-cost debt. As a measure of Government support to BSNL, instructions have been issued for mandatory utilization of capacities of BSNL and MTNL by all ministries, departments of the government of India, CPSEs, autonomous bodies etc. for their internet or broadband, landline and leased line requirements,' Chauhan said.