CAT board to probe CDMA deal

11 Dec 2006

(Bangkok Post via NewsEdge) The new CAT Telecom board of directors has found more wrongdoing by the former board in the 7.2-billion-baht ($202.3-million) CDMA mobile phone expansion project awarded to Chinese telecom supplier Huawei Technologies.

An executive of the state-run telecom enterprise said the latest finding involved the delivery of equipment for base stations in 51 provinces that did not meet specifications set in the terms of reference, but still won approval for use.

In a letter dated June 19, Huawei proposed to replace a router that was used to connect all system networks together from the original NE40 model to the NE80e, and asked CAT to pay 9.8 million baht ($275.3 million) for the NE40 routers.

This showed that Huawei could not deliver equipment that could be practical under Phase 1 of the expansion as stated in the terms, the executive said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Huawei explained in the letter that the NE80e model might not function properly under the requirements in the terms of reference, the executive said.

Apart from accepting the company's proposal, the former CAT board even deliberately amended the contract to allow the replacement devices and endorsed the amendment to be part of the first contract dated Feb 4, 2005.

Since the contract was amended after delivery of the NE40 routers, the contract could face investigation by concerned government agencies to see if it violated the Prime Minister's Office regulations on procurement.

The new finding would be submitted to the Assets Scrutiny Commission for further investigation, the executive said.

© 2006 Bangkok Post

© 2006 Dialog, a Thomson business. All rights reserved

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