Does Nortel Want More BSNL Business?

According to LightReading, India’s Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. is about to solicit bids for a second phase of wireless equipment contracts worth $4-billion. The question is whether Nortel wants to be involved. The company won a $500-million contract in 2003 but it has lost nearly $200-million on the deal so far. There have been recent reports BSNL has been forced to delay the roll-out of its wireless networks in some regions because it hasn’t been able to get hold of Nortel equipment. I suspect Nortel will bid for the BSNL contract because the telecom equipment market isn’t flush enough that you can afford to be too picky. The trick will be balancing the desire to boost revenue with the need to be disciplined and make a profit. This will one of the key challenges facing new CEO Mike Zafirovski. Other suppliers expected to participate are Lucent, Siemens, ZTE Corp., Alcatel, Nokia and Ericsson.

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