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BSNL deal: HCL Info is lowest bidder for east zone

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To set up operations and business support systems.

Adith Charlie
Thomas K. Thomas

Mumbai/New Delhi, Oct. 21 The $5-billion HCL Infosystems has once again emerged the lowest bidder for an IT implementation deal with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, sources said.

The Noida-based IT solutions company has quoted Rs 861 crore for setting up operations support systems (OSS) and business support system (BSS) in the east zone as part of BSNL`s expansion plans.

Other companies which bid for the project were Tata Consultancy Services, Mahindra Satyam/ Spanco (the companies partnered for this zone) and Hyderabad-based Prithvi Information Solutions.

While the Mahindra Satyam/Spanco bid was the second lowest at Rs 904 crore, TCS and Prithvi bid at Rs 934 crore and Rs 2,000 crore respectively, persons familiar with the developments told Business Line.

HCL’s bid has been backed by HP — which provided the additional hardware and systems — while Convergys would provide the billing solution, they added.

The bids were opened on Wednesday by the state-owned telecom company at Kolkata.

This is the second major engagement that HCL Infosystems bagged from BSNL in recent times. Business Line had reported in its issue of October 17 that HCL won a similar engagement from BSNL for the north zone. In March, the company bagged an Rs 230-crore ERP deal from BSNL.

The IT contract is part of BSNL’s 93-million line GSM project worth over $1 billion; this was divided into network equipment, tower infrastructure and IT. Each of these parts was further split into four zones.

This is the first time that BSNL has invited separate bids from IT solutions providers. Earlier, the contract for OSS and BSS would be a part of the overall GSM contract that would be awarded to a single player. For example, in the previous contract, Ericsson was given the mandate to integrate all parts of a mobile network including base stations, hardware equipment and the software.

As is the norm at BSNL, the financial bid by HCL Infosystems will be evaluated and it will go through the process of negotiations. The entire procedure will be completed in the next 30 days, within which the contract will be awarded.

The contracts with BSNL have evinced considerable interest from global players such as Comverse, Convergys, HP, EMC, Juniper and Oracle who have joined Indian software vendors to bid for the various zones. Earlier this week, Chennai-based Gemini Communications emerged as one of the four lowest bidders for the supply of 7,000 WiMax base stations to BSNL in rural India.

Related Stories:
HCL Info is lowest bidder for BSNL’s South GSM deal
HCL Info nets Rs 240-cr BSNL system integration order

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 22, 2009)
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