Seeking reimbursement of bid bond, Ericsson drags NT to court
KATHMANDU, Sept 17: Hinting that it would snub Nepal Telecom´s (NT) offer to install network for 5.2 million GSM lines, Swedish telecommunications vendor Ericsson has filed a case against NT at Kathmandu District Court, seeking reimbursement of its bid bond of Rs 420 million.
Issuing a public notice on September 11, NT had approached the Swedish vendor to implement the ´Package A´ of its 10 million GSM lines project. But NT received a ´surprising´ response from Ericsson on Friday.
Gunakeshari Pradhan, spokesperson of NT, however, said the state-controlled operator was yet to receive formal notice from the court. “Neither Ericsson, nor the court has informed us about the case,” she added.
Senior NT officials have expressed surprise over Ericsson´s move, as they believe Ericsson has no legal ground to claim reimbursement of the bid bond.
However, Ericsson´s decision has delivered a fresh jolt to NT because its denial to implement the project will affect timely implementation of the mega project.
“We now have the only option before going for re-tender -- to approach Huawei,” a senior official of NT said.
According to NT officials, Ericsson had, last year, expressed commitment to undertake the project if ZTE failed to implement it.
Chinese vendor ZTE, which won the bid to install network for 5.2 GSM lines, had also moved the court after NT seized its bid bond following delay in the implementation of the project.
Although NT has already signed the agreement with Huawei for 4.8 million lines, the delay in the implementation ´Package A´ of the project is certain to affect its service, particularly in rural areas.
Under Package A, NT is installing network mostly in rural and hilly areas of central, eastern, far-western and mid-western region. ZTE snubbed the project because of the high cost it was likely to incur while installing network in difficult terrains in the hilly areas.
Ericsson might have cold-shouldered the project because of this very reason, NT officials said.