Bolivia fines Chinese telecom supplier for breach of contract

December 23rd, 2010 - 1:20 pm ICT by IANS  

La Paz, Dec 23 (IANS/EFE) Bolivia has fined Chinese telecommunications equipment supplier Huawei $8 million for breach of contract, officials said.Public Works Minister Walter Delgadillo said Bolivian state telecommunications provider Entel collected on Huawei’s performance bond after the Chinese company failed to install equipment on schedule, Fides radio reported Tuesday on its web site.

Huawei was under contract to build radio base stations to cover additional population areas and it has not fulfilled those obligations, Delgadillo was quoted as saying.

EFE also received confirmation of the fine from Entel.

The Chinese company had been awarded a contract in October 2009 for Entel’s “Territory with Total Coverage” project, whose aim is to expand service to an additional 12,000 towns and 1.5 million people in rural areas.

President Evo Morales issued a decree nationalising Entel May 1, 2008, giving the Bolivian government a 97 percent stake in the country’s largest telecommunications firm.

The government paid Italy’s Telecom Italia’s $100 million last month in compensation for the 50 percent stake it previously held in Entel.

–IANS/EFE
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