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Arasu to procure 7 mn STBs for DAS implementation in Tamil Nadu

MUMBAI: After receiving a provisional multi-system operator (MSO) licence from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB), the state government-owned Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation (TACTV) has floated a tender for procuring 70 lakh set-top boxes (STB). These include 60 lakh standard-definition (SD) STBs and 10 lakh high-definition (HD) STBs.

Arasu is also interested in getting price discovery for triple-play STB and Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) cable modem.

Arasu has to complete digitisation of its network within three months from the date of issue of licence, which is 17 April.

The tender document can be purchased on all working days from 6 to 28 May, between 11 am and 3 pm. The date of opening of tender has been fixed at 29 May. There will be a pre-bid meeting on 19 May at 3.30 pm at the head office of TACTV.

The successful bidder should supply SD STBs, HD STBs, triple-play STBs and DOCSIS cable modem on a contract basis for a period of one year. The scope of supply for SD and HD STBs will include conditional access system (CAS) and subscriber management system (SMS).

The STBs and its accessories should have a replacement warranty for a period of 5 years from the date of supply.

During the warranty period, the bidder should also provide maintenance support for all items covered under the contract free of cost. The supplier should have arrangements in every taluk for extending service support. The items are to be delivered at any location in Tamil Nadu as may be specified by TACTV.

The proposed TV services, which will have 300 channels to start and to be expanded to 500 channels, will be in MPEG 4 SD and 30 television services in HD and 20 FM audio services with provision to add more SD and HD channels in the near future.

The tender also states that the disputes arising out of non-fulfilment of any of the terms and conditions of this agreement or any other dispute arising out of the arbitration award will be subject to the jurisdiction of the courts in the city of Chennai only.

  •  Arasu gets provisional DAS licence in April
  • Needs to complete digitisation within 3 months
  • To procure 7 mn STBs
  • Tender to open on 29 May
  • Bidders to be single company or consortium
  • Replacement warranty for 5 years
  • To offer 300 channels and expand to 500

TACTV has been incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 with an aim to provide high-quality cable signals to the public through local cable operators (LCOs) at an affordable cost. The current subscriber base of TACTV is around 70.52 lakh connected through 26,246 LCOs.

As per the unaudited results, TACTV’s net profit for FY 2016–17 stood at Rs 41 crore on a revenue of Rs 233.67 crore.

Eligible criteria

Eligible bidders can participate in the bidding either as single applicants or consortium (with a maximum of three partners) for the supply of STBs on suppliers’ line of credit/deferred payment model in ‘two cover system’ through a transparent bidding process.

The single bidder should be a registered company in India and should be in the business of manufacturing STBs for the past three years as on 31 March 2017. The bidder should have reported an average annual turnover of at least Rs 100 crore in the last three consecutive financial years.

In case of consortium of bidders, consortium of bids is allowed with maximum of three partners. One of the partners will have to be designated as the prime bidder and such a partner shall be a registered company in India and should be in existence for the past three years as on 31 March 2017.

Each partner of the consortium should be a registered company and should be in existence for the past three years as on 31 March 2017. The prime bidder should have reported an average annual turnover of at least Rs 100 crore in last three financial years, while the set-top box manufacturing partner should have reported an annual turnover of at least Rs 50 crore in last three financial years.

No partner of the consortium should bid individually or be a partner of another consortium.

The single bidder or anyone of the consortium partner should have minimum three years of experience in the manufacture of STBs.

Tender process

The bidders will have to submit tenders in two parts. Part I will cover technical bid while Part II will cover price bid. Tenders will have to be dropped only in the tender box kept at TACTV office.

The tender must be accompanied by an earnest money deposit (EMD) to the value of Rs 75 lakh in the form of an irrevocable bank guarantee with a validity period of 12 months. The EMD will be returned to the unsuccessful bidders, while in the case of the successful bidder, it will be retained.

The bidder has to submit two samples for each item quoted in the tender. The samples should be submitted indicating the make, model number and brochures/specifications of the items for benchmark testing by TACTV.

Of the two samples, one sample will be given for testing to an NABL-accredited testing agency nominated by TACTV. The bidders whose sample pass the test will only be qualified for price bid opening. Bids without submission of samples are liable to be rejected.

TACTV may arrange for field inspection to verify their pre-qualifying conditions before opening of Part II cover, and in case if any failure to satisfy the requirements, their tender will be rejected and their Part-II cover will not be opened.

Any adverse or unsatisfactory remarks on the performance from the clients of previous supplies will entail disqualification of the tender and the price bids will not be opened.

Bids with the lowest rate in each SD and HD STB, along with conditional access system (CAS) and subscriber management system (SMS), triple-play STBs and DOCSIS cable modem, will be adjudged as L1 for the respective item. The L1 bidder of each item will be invited for price negotiations.

Upon finalisation of the negotiated rate, TACTV will issue the letter of acceptance (LoA) to the successful bidder for each item separately.

Schedule of STB supply

On receipt of the LoA from TACTV, the successful bidder should remit a security deposit (SD) of 2% of the allotted quantity in the form of an irrevocable bank guarantee with a validity period of 12 months, within 10 working days from the date of receipt of letter of acceptance. The EMD shall be adjusted with the security deposit.

Successful bidders will have to deploy CAS and SMS from a single supplier for both SD and HD STBs to be seeded by TACTV. Therefore, CAS and SMS provider of L1 vendor in respect of SD STB shall supply CAS and SMS to other vendors of SD and HD STBs at the final negotiated rate. In other words, all the STBs should be integrated with a single CAS and SMS.

Forty per cent of the ordered quantity will have to be supplied within 30 days from the date of issue of purchase order while 60% of the ordered quantity will have to be supplied 60 days from the date of issue of the purchase order.

The tender document states that TACTV reserves the right to award the contract to other technically qualified bidders who are matching the negotiated price of L1 bidder. The corporation also reserves the right to increase or decrease the order quantity up to 25% on the same terms and conditions.

Replacement and maintenance

All items should have a replacement warranty for a period of 5 years from the date of issue of acceptance letter by TACTV against manufacturing defects. During the warranty period, the bidder should also provide maintenance support for all items covered under the contract free of cost

The supplier should maintain a stock of 5% of the quantity supplied in each district on pro-rata basis to facilitate hassle-free replacement.

The supplier should maintain toll-free numbers for every 5 lakh STB supplied operating 24×7 to register service complaints. Further a mobile app shall also be deployed for registration of complaints.

The complaints shall be rectified within 24 hours from the time of notification. For difficult locations such as hill areas, the timeline for rectification of complaints shall be 48 hours. The services should be done at free of cost. The call centre shall be located in Chennai and handle complaints in Tamil and English.

The successful bidder should train LCOs on the installation and maintenance of STBs at convenient locations throughout Tamil Nadu.

The successful bidder should also provide instruction manuals on the installation and maintenance of STBs in Tamil and English for all the LCOs.