BSNL opted for franchisee model to monetise BWA spectrum: Govt

"To use this spectrum, BSNL has gone for a franchise model on a revenue-sharing basis. As per the provision of expression of interest and agreement signed with the franchisee companies, they are required to pay amortised value of spectrum/ cost to BSNL on monthly basis," Minister of State for IT & Telecom Gurudas Kamat said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

A direct enquiry is being conducted by the Central Vigilance Commission on "irregularities in allotting BSNL's Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) franchisee", Kamat added.

The Department of Telecommunications has also constituted a committee under the chairman of Member (Finance), Telecom Commission, for a detailed examination of the course of action taken by BSNL, while floating a tender for short-listing of bidders for WiMAX franchisees.

BSNL has short-listed three companies -- Teracom, Starnet and Take Solutions -- as franchisees.

Teracom Ltd has given Rajasthan, Karnataka and Bihar circles, Starnet has given Chennai Telecom District and Himachal Pradesh and Take Solutions has won rights in Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh (West) and Orissa.

As per the agreement, the franchisee was to deploy the WiMax network and BSNL would provide infrastructure like premises, towers and media connectivity.

According to reports, BSNL chose shell companies as franchisees and alloted them wireless access (WiMAX) spectrum for offering broadband services on a revenue-sharing regime.

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