Tejas Networks bags big router deal from BSNL

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Tata Group-owned telecom equipment maker Tejas Networks has won a deal from state-run telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to supply and install access and aggregation routers across India.

The deal, valued at Rs 696 crore ($85 million), comes ahead of the 4G network tender for 100,000 sites, which is expected to be approved by the Indian government in coming days. Once the tender is approved, BSNL will start offering 4G services all over the country within 18-24 months.

“We hereby inform you that Tejas Networks Limited has received an Advance Purchase Order of Rs 696 crore (Rupees Six Hundred and Ninety-Six Crore Only) from BSNL for the upgradation of its Pan-India IP-MPLS based Access and Aggregation Network (MAAN) using its state-of-the-art routers,” said Tejas Networks informed the Indian stock exchange in a regulatory filing on Monday.

A big deal for Tejas

The home-bred gear maker said that it will supply, install and commission over 13,000 of its TJ1400 series of next-generation access and aggregation routers for a converged multi-service packet network.

Tejas Networks said that it expects initial supplies and deployment of the equipment to be completed within the next 18 months. The company won this order while competing against top-tier global vendors in an open tender, after being technically shortlisted and upon submitting the lowest commercial bid, the company claimed.

Arnob Roy, COO and executive director of Tejas Networks said that the deal “catapults” the company into the global service provider switching and routing segment, which requires products that have high technological complexity and significant R&D capabilities.

“We are delighted to win this prestigious contract which is the single largest order we have received to date in our company. We look forward to partnering with BSNL to create a unified, flexible, and scalable IP/MPLS network that will cater to growing data traffic from its full range of services, including a mobile (2G/3G/4G/5G), fibre broadband, Voice over IP, WiFi and enterprise data services,” Sanjay Nayak, Managing Director and CEO of Tejas Networks said in the statement.

Notably, Nayak has decided to seek voluntary retirement to pursue other personal interests, and will soon leave the company. Anand Athreya has been named as the CEO and MD designate of the company, and joined Tejas on Monday.

BSNL awaits tender approval

For BSNL’s 4G network, a group of ministers (GoM) is currently evaluating the bid for setting up 100,000 4G sites. Once they approve the tender, BSNL will place the purchase order to Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and C-DoT. 

Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw recently informed the Indian Parliament that the government also reserved spectrum in the 600 MHz, 3300 MHz and 26 GHz bands for BSNL to provide 5G services, which would be rolled out after deploying 4G services all over India.

BSNL was directed to deploy the Indian core for 4G on the recommendations of Empowered Technology Group (ETG). “Accordingly, BSNL floated a tender on October 22, 2022 for 1 lakh 4G sites. The bid was opened on November 23, 2022. The evaluation of the bid has been concluded and is under submission for approval of the Group of Ministers (GoM),” Vaishnaw said in March.

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