Marubeni, ZTE may face CAT blacklist

Construction News

 CAT Telecom is considering blacklisting Marubeni (Thailand) and the Chinese equipment supplier ZTE for missing the March deadline for completing a national optical-fibre backbone network worth 2.1 billion baht.

The default on the backbone network contract had resulted in extensive damage to the state telecom enterprise, said CAT.

President Jirayuth Rungsrithong said the CAT board was now considering whether to blacklist Marubeni and ZTE.

He said the contract required the two companies to deliver the first phase of the network on May 15 last year.

However, numerous problems still remain with the certification of ZTE signalling equipment, which has not been accepted, he said.

CAT Telecom signed the original contract with the Marubeni-ZTE consortium in September 2005, calling for delivery of the work in three phases.

The first phase involved 280 base stations by May 2006, the second phase 147 stations by September 2006, and the third phase 138 stations by March this year, he said.

However, as of August this year only 66.35% of the work was completed.

Most of the delays were in the South where only 31% of the work was completed, and in the Northeast (46%).

The National Anti Corruption Commission has also been investigating the transparency of the project, particularly the specification of the signalling equipment.

ZTE earlier proposed to use its own ZTE brand but later changed to the Siena brand. 

The change did not pass certification and was rejected by CAT. 

The backbone communications network is intended to link all parts of the country with the capital via optical-fibre lines covering 9,000 kilometres.


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