PSU BSNL is all set to further expand its head advantage in the mobile broadband space as it now readies for launch of WiMAX services even as its private counterparts eagerly await the auction of 3G and BWA spectrum.
As reported earlier by TelecomTiger, out of the five firms who had submitted bids for BSNL’s WiMAX franchisee contract for urban areas, four have been shortlisted by the PSU. The only company to have left out is E-Mall.
Networking gear major, Cisco bagged the contract for highest number of circles as its partner for the bid, Teracom is shirtlisted in eight circles namely Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, UP (East), Assam, Jammu & Kashmir and the North East.
Alvarion follows Cisco in bagging the highest number of circles as two of its local partners have collectively bagged 5circles. Adishwar is selected in the Kolkata circle and Ampules in Chennai, Haryana, West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh.
ZTE’s partner Take Solutions is selected in Orissa, UP (West) and Tamil Nadu.
Under the deal, BSNL and the shortlisted players will work on a revenue share basis to offer WiMAX services. Alvarion, Cisco and ZTE are the technological partners for respective local players.
Soma Networks is already offering WiMAX services under a similar agreement with BSNL on a trial basis. The company is offering services in three circles of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. It however did not bid for other circles. Huawei too did not bid for any of the circles in urban areas though it is partnering BSNL for WiMAX services in rural areas.
The earlier franchisee contracts were cancelled after it emerged that firms owned directly or indirectly by a single individual had bagged the contracts in most of the circles.
The potential of WiMAX services is believed to be more lucrative particularly in urban areas as it offers service providers a avenue to offer high-speed wireless broadband services to the retail consumers as well as the enterprise segment at a much reduced rollout time. Also the capex required to set up a WiMAX network in urban area is much less as compared to that required in a rural area.