San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Huawei, ZTE, Ericsson Bid for 3G Project

Three global telecommunications companies have placed their bids to deploy a third-generation (3G) mobile network in Costa Rica, vying for a project to set up 950,000 new lines here by the second half of 2009, according to the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE).

Huawei Technologies, ZTE Corporation and Ericsson each turned in their proposals Nov. 18, the deadline set for the international public bidding process, ICE said in a press release.

3G is a wireless network that promises advanced services to cell phone users, including video calls and the ability to surf the Internet at top speed.

In August, the government stopped ICE from awarding the 3G contract to Huawei, a Chinese company that made a proposal with a bill of $582.8 million to install the lines – more than double the $225 million ICE had budgeted for the project.

Huawei’s fresh bid is $245 million, with $9 million in financial backing from Banco de Costa Rica, ICE said.

Also Chinese, ZTE has bid $447 million with $6.75 million from Banco de Costa Rica. A Costa Rican consortium of Swedish telecom provider Ericsson has proposed a $341 million project, with $9.6 million in backing from Banco CMB Costa Rica, a member of Citibank Financial Group.


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