Rivada Networks, a networks company founded by Galway businessman Declan Ganley, is taking legal action after being disqualified from the bidding process to build a $7 billion mobile network in Mexico.
The company was excluded from the Red Compartida mobile network project last week for allegedly failing to file proper paperwork, The Irish Times reports.
However, Rivada has insisted it filed all necessary paperwork according to Mexican public-private partnership rules, and Ganley has claimed the process is being fixed in favor of other bidders.
The Irish Times reports that the Red Compartida project is part of a strategy by the Mexican government to lessen the market influence of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, whose America Movil controls 70 percent of the mobile sector in the country.
The two final bidder for the contract are the Rivada consortium, comprising Mr Ganley’s company and Spectrum Frontier, and Altan consortium, comprising Mexican companies Megacable and Axtel.
Whoever wins the contract will build a new 4G wholesale network, which will be open to all mobile operators except Movil. The public-private partnership deal is scheduled to last up to 20 years.
According to Ganley, a hijacker on a motorcycle attempted to steal Rivada’s bidding documents for the project as they were being delivered to authorities in Mexico City on October 17th. However, he said the stolen “bid boxes” were empty for security reasons and his bid was delivered separately and on time.
In a statement on last week, Ezequiel Gil Huerta, head of the tender convening entity of Mexico’s Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (SCT), said the documents “should have been included within the technical proposal” submitted.
“Applicable laws and regulations prohibit the negotiation or compensation of substantial deficiencies or omissions in the submitted proposals,” he said.
“SCT has the obligation of maintaining equal conditions for all participants.
“Due to the disqualification of Rivada, its economic proposal will not be evaluated.”
The Irish Times reports that an emergency legal bid by Rivada to be readmitted to the bidding process has been referred by a federal judge to a specialist telecommunications court.
“We expect to hear from them early next week,” said Rivada spokesman Brian Carney.