Samsung is reportedly looking to expand its network business operations in India by partnering with state-run telecommunications company BSNL. The operator’s phase nine 4G expansion plans involve the addition of 57,000 new 4G sites, 7,000 of which will be used by its subsidiary MTNL in New Delhi and Mumbai. BSNL wants to upgrade 43,000 of its existing 2G and 3G sites to 4G.Samsung is not the only 4G vendor eyeing BSNLBSNL’s phase nine was put out to tender on March 23. Vendors can bid for the contract until May 8, though the date might be pushed back amid the coronavirus pandemic. Samsung revealed its offer to plan, engineer, supply, test, and maintain BSNL’s growing 4G infrastructure before the country entered the COVID-19 lockdown, but so have ZTE, Nokia, Ericsson, and ITI.According to ET Telecom citing an industry executive, ‘Samsung’s participation is surprising’ because the company has been working exclusively with Reliance Jio. The latter aims to deliver 5G solutions in India with Samsung’s help. Meanwhile, ZTE and Nokia are already partnered with BSNL and have carried out the telco’s phase eight expansion plans.In addition, the source claims Samsung lacks 2G/3G technologies and IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) solutions. Should BSNL want to implement 2G and 4G solutions in the same cell site, Samsung could only achieve this by overlaying. So whether or not Samsung will win the contract and claim BSNL as its new 4G client remains to be seen.
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