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BSNL monster contract de

Indian operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has been forced to withhold awarding the contract for its monster GSM tender until at least November 16, after a Delhi High Court hearing on the matter.

European equipment vendors Ericsson, Nokia and Siemens have emerged as the final three players in the running for what is thought to be the world’s biggest ever GSM network tender, running at an estimated $4bn to $5bn (£2bn to £2.7bn).

But Motorola, which was previously eliminated for failing to meet “technical criteria” threw its toys out of the pram and dragged BSNL to court over the disqualification.

During the filing of the petition at the High Court this week, the judge placed a restraining order on the award of the contract until after the next hearing on November 16.

The tender is reported to be for a total of 60 million new GSM and 3G lines in one of the world’s fastest growing mobile markets.

BSNL has over 23 million subscribers, making it the second largest operator behind Bharti Airtel with 25 million.

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