More than 20 companies have expressed an interest in becoming a franchisee for rolling out state-owned telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd’s (BSNL’s) WiMAX services, the Hindu Business line reports. Vendors including Motorola, Huawei and Alcatel-Lucent have all been named as possible partners, alongside smaller India-based companies such as Adina Telecom, Wellcom Communications and Aban Informatics. BSNL has invited bids from prospective partners on a revenues sharing basis, and the successful bidder will win the right to use BSNL’s spectrum and infrastructure to offer WiMAX based broadband services. One barrier for foreign vendors considering a bid however is that they cannot own the entire franchise, and would need a partnership with an Indian company to compete. The successful bidder will be selected after a two-stage bidding process, and companies are expected to submit both a technical and financial bid at the initial stage.
BSNL has already signed a deal with US-based SOMA Networks for WiMAX rollout in three states, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, and the operator has set aside approximately USD750 million for its WiMAX rollout.