Trio object to ICE 3G bidding rules

24 Oct 2008

BNamericas reports that three telecoms equipment vendors – Huawei, ZTE and Nokia Siemens Networks – have sent a letter to Costa Rica’s comptroller requesting changes to the bidding terms for the supply of 3G lines to state telecoms operator ICE. According to a report in the local daily newspaper La Nacion, the companies argue that there are inconsistencies in the rules and are calling for the changes before bids are due on 18 November. ICE spokesperson Elberth Duran was quoted as saying that ICE had sent its response to the comptroller, which was studying both sides and would decide on whether ICE needed to make adjustments.

In September ICE abandoned a previous attempt to contract a company to install 950,000 3G/3.5G lines as Huawei was the sole bidder in the auction. Huawei’s price bid was USD583 million, more than double ICE’s original target price of USD225 million. ICE later bowed to pressure from Costa Rica’s President Oscar Arias to call the auction again.