Delayed cable project on track after Chinese fireworks

22 Aug 2006

The Cabinet Purchase Committee yesterday approved a project in which Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB) will install high capacity fibre-optic cables and synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH) transmission links between Dhaka, Bogra, Rajshahi and Nawabganj, and a second system connecting Moghbazar with Srinagar (Kashmir). In the original June 2005 tender for the project, BTTB selected China’s Huawei Technologies as its main equipment supplier, but following complaints from fellow Chinese vendor ZTE that the telco had blatantly favoured Huawei, a review panel recommended that a re-tender be called in July 2005. However, despite the apparent irregularities, the project has now received the official go-ahead from the Committee, which yesterday also approved BTTB’s plan to install a VoIP platform. Another project to install digital telephone exchanges in regional growth centres was rejected after the Committee found that the three and a half year-old tender had violated procurement regulations and ordered a fresh round of bidding; the proposed vendor was not named.

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