Canada’s Nortel wins PTCL’s cellular phone contract
LAHORE- The Pakistan Telecommunication Corporation (PTCL) has decided to award the turnkey project for launching the PTCL mobile phone service to Canada’s Nortel Networks at a cost of US$ 50 million exclusive of the tax and duties component of US$ 10 million.
The PTCL Board of directors in its meeting ratified the decision of the Pakistan Telecommunication Mobile Ltd (PTML) board earlier in favour of Nortel. The award of contract is behind schedule due to protracted negotiations and the recent NAB enquiry into the matter.
Finally, a letter from the Chief Executive Secretariat to the ministry of communications cleared the way for the award of the contract to Nortel. The contract was to be awarded earlier but the secretary communication decided to have another round of negotiations after the recommendations of international consultants Omnitele. After the takeover of the new government three of the five international bidders, i.e Nokia, Ericsson and Aleatel wrote letters of protest to NAB and Chief of Staff to CE, Maj Gen Anees Bajwa against the alterations in the process for award of contract and the preference given to one of the bidders which was then taken up by NAB. The three bidders had protested the formation of the committee under the ministry of communications, which was against the process advertised earlier. The three bidders also resented the fact that the committee formed by the secretary communications had not invited them for negotiations and the opportunity to improve the bid was provided only to Nortel.
A spokesman of the ministry of communication told The News that all bidders were provided a chance to improve their prices and cover deficiencies in the second round of negotiations. He added that all bidders held discussions with the negotiating team and also gave sealed prices in the second round. He added that Nortel’s price and bid was selected in light of the second report by the international consultant Omnitele after second round of negotiations.
The Turnkey project for launching the mobile phone service by Pak Telecom Mobile Ltd (PTML) includes network design, supply of backup equipment and commissioning of service for a five lac subscriber base over a 5-year period. At present, the mobile phone industry in Pakistan covers nearly 2.20 lac users and involves a billing of Rs 8 billion annually and the delay in launch of PTML mobile is costing approx. Rs 150 million monthly in the initial months.
Source: The News