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India’s BSNL considers Jio for network upgrade

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Indian state-run operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is reportedly considering partnerships with Jio for its 4G and 5G national network upgrade.

An internal report cited by India’s TOI outlet suggests that the consortium led by TCS was the frontrunner to win the contract.

BSNL presently offers both 2G and 3G services and is facing issues with the TCS consortium which has recently pitched higher than expected prices to supply the equipment required for the project.

The Indian government has prohibited BSNL from choosing foreign vendors meaning the operator must choose a local alternative.

Jio Platforms, the parent company of Reliance Jio has already developed its own 4G and 5G end-to-end stack, including core and RAN technologies.

The report added: “It has been learnt that Reliance Jio has developed and deployed indigenously developed EPC (4G core), which is also upgradable to 5G.

“The possibility for partnering of any system integrator with Reliance Jio can be explored for deploying such core in BSNL network.

“The workability of such a mechanism needs to be deliberated upon at the government of India level.”

Despite the concerns over pricing, TCS can still win the final contract if their prices are approved by the Indian government.