BBNL to finalise Wi-Fi players for 30 clusters of BharatNet

BBNL, the nodal agency for BharatNet project is expected to finalise partners for gram panchayat broadband services through Wi-Fi by March 2018 to complete the project on time

Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL) has come out with a tender with respect to selection of an implementing agency for provisioning of last mile access and broadband services through Wi-Fi or any other suitable broadband technology at the gram panchayat level. The last date of the tender is 15 February, 2018 and it is expected that the tender will be finalised before March 2018.

The tender for implementation of Wi-Fi hotspot services or any other broadband technology across 250,000 gram panchayats covered under BharatNet Project Phase I and Phase II. The tender is for providing Wi-Fi/broadband services and to operate and maintain the entire infrastructure thus created for a minimum period of four years from the date of successful completion of works at all gram panchayat areas in the project area/cluster.

The eligibility condition for companies who are applying for the tender should have an average turnover of Rs. 75 crores over the last three years or Rs. 100 crores in the last financial year and should have a positive net worth for two of the last three years. Only those companies can participate who have provided internet broadband or mobile internet services to at least 10,000 subscribers over the last five years or implemented Wi-Fi hotspot services or any other suitable broadband technology with at least 1,000 outdoor access points/equipment over the last five years. The OEMs attached with the companies should have done successful deployment of 10,000 outdoor APs for customers.

The implementation agency should provide Wi-Fi access node that has the capacity to support 50 concurrent users. The bidder must ensure that the Wireless Lan Controller (WLC) installed for controlling the Wi-Fi access points/or any other broadband technology nodes must have the capacity to support such number of concurrent users across all Wi-Fi access points/nodes commissioned by the bidder under the program.

Break-up of Access Points as per Clusters:

State – Estimated No of GPs – Estimated No of Access Points (APs) 

Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland & Tripura – 4,324 – 6,970

Andhra Pradesh – 12,918 – 25,836

Assam – 2,485 – 9,940

Bihar – 8,106 – 32,424

Chhattisgarh – 8,277 – 16,554

Gujarat – 6,800 – 13,600

Gujarat, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu – 6745 – 13545

Haryana – 6,090 – 12,180

Himachal Pradesh – 3,233 – 6,466

Jammu & Kashmir – 3,191 – 6,382

Jharkhand – 4015 – 12,045

Karnataka – 5914 – 17,742

Kerala and Lakshadweep – 962 – 4,780

Odisha – 6101 – 18,303

Punjab and Chandigarh -12,642 – 25,284

Rajasthan – 9,152 – 27,546

Tamil Nadu and Puducherry – 11,567 – 23,139

Telangana – 8,898 – 17,796

Uttar Pradesh – West_1 – 7,060 – 14,120

Uttar Pradesh – West_2 – 7,066 – 14,132

Uttarakhand – 7,134 – 7,134

West Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Sikkim – 4,387 – 17,856

Madhya Pradesh_1 – 10,762 – 21,524

Madhya Pradesh_2 – 10,762 – 21,524

Maharashtra_1 – 9,214 – 18,428

Maharashtra_2 – 9,214 – 18,428

Maharashtra_3 – 9,213 – 18,426

Uttar Pradesh – East_1 – 12,046 – 24,092

Uttar Pradesh – East_2 – 12,047 – 24,094

Uttar Pradesh – East_3 – 12,046 – 24,092

Source: DigiAnalysys  

Minimum 2 Mbps bandwidth needs to be provisioned at each of the access points but minimum bandwidth requirement is exempted for the locations where BharatNet bandwidth is provisioned/will be provisioned through VSAT. The implementing agency must be able to control bandwidth at user level to prevent users from creating bandwidth monopoly by adopting required Fair Usage Policy (FUP).

Payments shall be made to the implementing agency upon completion of the following milestones for each of the project area or cluster.

Milestone 1: 25% of the project cost shall be payable to implementing agency as advance against the submission of an Advance Bank Guarantee for a sum equivalent to 27.5% of the project cost.

Milestone 2: 60% of the project cost (on pro-rata basis) shall be payable upon successful commissioning of gram panchayats at least under one district. 25% advance paid to the Implementing Agency under Milestone 1 shall be settled off against this payment milestone. Therefore, net amount of 35% of the project cost (pro-rata basis) shall be paid to the implementing agency against this milestone.

Milestone 3: 15% of the project cost shall be payable upon addition of active user.

Milestone 4: Remaining 25% of the project cost shall be payable in equal parts (i.e., 2.083% of the project cost) across 12 quarters (three years) starting from G+366 days. Any penalties on account of SLAs as provided in Section VII of this RFP shall be deducted from this milestone payment.

Implementing Agency must provision for at least 8 hours of power backup to each Wi-Fi access point/node installed at the gram panchayat areas and should have capability to support voice over Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) services to provide quality voice service to gram panchayat location. All Wi-Fi access points/or any other broadband technology nodes commissioned by the implementing agency under the work order shall have the ability to be managed remotely, including for firmware and software updates. The Wi-Fi access points or associated wireless management system shall have the ability to block traffic based on IP address, port, URL, or host name and should have the ability to block or manage traffic based on QoS.

The overall implementation timelines shall not exceed beyond 365 days from the issuance of work order for a project area. 40% of all districts in the project area in 180 days, 70% of all districts in the project area in 270 days and 100% of all districts in the project area in 365 days. If the tender is finalised before March 2018 then only can the agency complete the project before March 2019, the deadline date for completion of BharatNet project.