BSNL will invest Rs 6,000 crore for installing 40,000 Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) in the next two years to enlarge its mobile network and is in the process of awarding contracts to equipment vendors, an official said on Friday. “We have issued an advanced purchase order to Nokia and in the next 10 days it will be issued to ZTE, ” BSNL chairman and managing director Anupam Shrivastava said.

Managing Director of BSNL Shrivastava said the mandate is for adding some 40,000 mobile base stations by replacing new 2G and adding 3G and 4G (by Wi-Fi network). The execution will be over next two years.

Shrivastava, who was here in connection with the introducing of Speedpay wallet by Union Minister of State for Communications Manoj Sinha, said Nokia turned out to be the lowest bidder followed by ZTE and then Ericsson.

Nokia will execute the network expansion in the south and western regions, while ZTE will do so in the north east. ZTE has agreed to match L1 bidder (Nokia).

Presently, BSNL has 1.3 lakh BTS across the country. In Bengal, the telecom operator has installed 1000 BTS in Kolkata and in next two years 1000 more would be added under the current expansion.

BSNL has been able to make a turnaround and will be back in net profit in 2018-19. “With the entry of a new operator (Jio) all operators have faced a decline in revenue but we (BSNL) have been able to hold on,” Sinha said.