State-owned telco the Communications Authority of Thailand (CAT) has rejected proposals from local technology provider Samart and China’s ZTE for its planned nationwide CDMA2000 network expansion. The two bids failed at the commercial proposal stage of the tender for the THB13 billion (USD338 million) contract due to an apparent lack of commercial credibility; Motorola, Ericsson and Huawei all passed the stage. The expansion plan forms part of CAT’s strategy to expand its joint mobile venture with Hong Kong’s Hutchison Telecom (under the brand name ‘Hutch’), with the eventual aim of achieving nationwide coverage. The Hutchison CAT venture was launched in March 2003 and is 65% owned by Hutchison, with CAT controlling the remainder 35%. At the end of September 2004 it claimed 800,000 subscribers in Bangkok and 25 central provinces.