MTNL seeking partner to run its Wimax network

Dylan Bushell-Embling
10 Aug 2009

MTNL has launched a tender for another company to run its Wimax business, less than a month after doing the same for its 3G network.

As with the 3G proposal, MTNL would continue to own the Wimax network and would enter a revenue-sharing arrangement with the winning franchisees.

But MTNL has stipulated that the winning bidder or its parent company must be a Wimax technology OEM, or at least a system integrator with a Wimax manufacturer partnership.

By contrast, the 3G tender sought international operators with at least one million 3G customers in two countries.

The operator is seeking one Wimax franchisee in each of the circles of Delhi and Mumbai. The tender stipulates that the bidders must not offer telecom services in either region.

Bidders must also have a minimum annual turnover of 1 billion rupees ($20.9 million), or experience rolling out a Wimax network to at least 500,000 subscribers.

The winners will be obligated to provide a performance guarantee deposit of at least 150 million rupees for each city, and sign up at least 50,000 users within the first year of operations – and 400,000 by the fourth.

MTNL did not disclose any details regarding the possible financial terms of the revenue sharing agreement, but stated that the MTNL will handle customer billing via information provided by franchisees.

The bid closes on September 16, and MTNL will shortlist the finalists on the following day.

MTNL launched its 3G franchise tender after it signed up less than 1,000 subscribers during six months of operation.

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