BSNL close to tower deals for Naxal hotspots

Dylan Bushell-Embling
02 Dec 2013

Indian state-owned operator BSNL may soon award the contracts for vendors to deploy telecom towers in states affected by politically-motivated violence.

BSNL has been given the task of setting up towers at 2,199 locations across nine states, to improve connectivity and disaster communications in areas under threat of attack from Naxalites – shorthand in India for various militant communist groups.

The operator has floated a tender for the supply of 1,315 towers. Three companies applied, and two applications made the cut, the Economic Timesreported, citing sources.

Assuming vendors Vihaan Networks and HFCL meet the technical requirements, they are almost guaranteed to split the project, the report states. Around 30% of the work will also go to state-owned ITI.

The tower deployment project had been proposed for years, but was approved after a naxal attack killed 27 people – including senior lawmakers - in May this year.

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