Mexican shared wireless network battle starts

By:
Alan Burkitt-Gray
Published on:

Rivada Networks begins verbal battle with Mexico over wholesale wireless network as legal action looms

A war of words has broken out between the Mexican government and Rivada Networks, the company that is bidding to build the country’s wholesale wireless network.

It is a week since Mexico’s Secretariat of Communications and Transport (SCT) told Rivada, led by Irish businessman Declan Ganley, that its bid was invalid because it did not include a bond for one billion pesos ($49 million).

That left only one Mexican consortium, Altan, bidding for the country’s Red Compartida (shared network) project, designed to be a carrier neutral wireless network that would reduce the power of dominant operator América Móvil.

The SCT has backed its decision to exclude Rivada with a detailed summary of what it sees as the company’s failure to include a bond, and Rivada has responded with a point-by-point statement, adding that it plans to take the issue to the Mexican courts.

“Rivada did not comply with the terms and conditions established in the tender rules for the submission of the bid bond,” said the SCT in its statement. “The bid bond had to be submitted within the technical bid on October 20th 2016, at the act of proposal submission. Not submitting the bid bond in accordance to the terms and conditions of the tender rules is cause for disqualification,”

Rivada responded: “The Rivada Consortium fulfilled the requirements set out in the competition rules, including having delivered the bid security. The time at which the Rivada Consortium delivered the bid security to the SCT does not constitute a substantive deficiency of its proposal.”

It adds: “The SCT did not demand the delivery of the Rivada Consortium’s bid security, as established by the applicable regulatory framework.”

The consortium says it will “submit the case to the consideration of the federal courts of the country”.

Rivada has asked a court to allow the consortium to be readmitted to the bidding.

The group said: “The Rivada Consortium is confident that its arguments will be analysed with autonomy and responsibility by the federal courts of the country. Mexico is a great country and an attractive destination for the investment. The Rivada Consortium will persevere in its efforts to preserve the legal principles and the enormous benefits that underpin the shared network.”