The BT-MCI consortium is the frontrunner to win a massive Indian contract, after two other shortlisted contenders, Cable & Wireless and Global One, failed to submit detailed proposals in time.
The companies were bidding for a $500 million project to build a regional telecomms hub for south Asia, together with national operator VSNL.
According to sources, the BT-MCI consortium has told India's Department of Telecommunications that, since it is now the sole bidder for the project, it should be given the contract without further formalities. It argues that this would prevent the delays, which have dogged the project since it was announced two years ago, lengthening still further.
The $500 million regional hub project was initially proposed as a joint venture between VSNL and BT-MCI through their Concert joint venture. However, after a lot of controversy, the DoT rejected the proposal and instead directed VSNL to invite competitive bids from international telcos.
This considerably delayed the plans and only seven bids were received, fewer than expected, which were then shortlisted to three.
The aim of the hub is to route all international voice and data traffic originating from the South Asian region.
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