Chinese firms have dominated the Global tender call by Ntc for its 4G LTE expansion throughout the country. Ntc mega project for 4G was planned to cost Rs 32 billion. But the Chinese vendors have submitted proposals to do the work at a much lesser price.
NTC had launched 4G in two cities Kathmandu and Pokhara last year. The 4G coverage is not yet expanded beyond those cities. NTC wants to do the expansion in all of the cities with this mega project. There will be more than six thousand towers and BTS to install for the project. They divided the mega-project into two parts, namely core network and BTS network. There are two BTS network each for two different geographic regions. Although the country is divided into 7 states, they are actually using the developing regions. The first network includes the Central Development region and the Mid Western region. The second network includes the Eastern, Western, and Far western region.
Chinese telecom vendors mostly participated in Ntc 4G project global tender. Huawei and ZTE, the two giant Chinese vendors are now competing to get the project for themselves. Although the first prices are out, they have to go through some more phases to ultimately win the tender. NTC has already made a focus group to study, check all the matters for the project proposal. Maverin is the only vendor besides ZTE and Huawei, who are competing in this project. They have bid for the Ntc 4G core part, with an amount of 2 billion, which is higher than what ZTE and Huawei proposal.
For the BTS part, out of the two networks, Huawei proposes 8 billion 470 million Rupees for the network roll-out. Whereas for the second network, Huawei proposes Nrs. 8 billion 220 million. In those two networks, ZTE proposes 9 billion 980 million and 8 billion, 890 million respectively.
Who will get the Ntc 4G tender?
Although the proposal prices are known, it will be very early to say who will get the project. But the trends show it is obvious. The total price (if we take from the lowest bid) will come to just 17 billion rupees, way less than the planned one. Extensive study and analysis will be performed by the Ntc team to come up with a decision sooner. It is not only the price that matters for the whopping multi-million dollar project. Huawei and ZTE both being strong positions in Ntc, will have more advantages for sure. It is still very hard to say who will win ultimately among these two.
The last 2G/ 3G/4G project (10 million project ) which is still running in Ntc, was also won by Huawei in the year 2012. That time also there were two such separate projects within. Among which at first, Huawei and ZTE became the lowest bidder in each one. As ZTE did not take the project then, Huawei got both of the projects. There were some disputes and lawsuits for ZTE refusal and regarding loss to Ntc. But it was resolved later from court with no compensation.
Now, Ntc intends to complete the 4G installation work in all of the countries within 9 months of the contract. With such less time, we can expect Ntc 4G coverage to be available as per the demand of the people. We hope it is a nice project to increase broadband penetration, decrease the digital divide. Further a big leap in adding a positive effect to the economy of the country.
What do you think of the Nepal Telecom position after the rollout of this project?