ZTE asks for PM’s help


ZTE, the Chinese telecom giant, battling for its USD 800 million telecom expansion contract, has asked the Prime Minister’s office to get involved in their dispute with ethio telecom, Capital learnt.
The company who undertook the previous massive telecom expansion that ended in 2010 is currently in a dispute with ethio telecom.
The company that has been engaged on several negotiations since it signed half of the USD 1.6 billion expansion project. However, the company failed to start the project even though it has been over a year since the agreement was signed. 
Sources said that currently ZTE has asked for the PM office to get involved in the issue. Officials in the company who talked to Capital gave confirmation about the letter, but declined to give further information.
Currently, ethio telecom is planning to include Ericsson the European telecom firm to be part of the expansion project. In the past few weeks representatives of the company and the enterprise have been under negotiations.
According to sources, ethio telecom has already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Ericson, a Swedish company, which is not new to the country’s telecom sector, to undertake part of the project.
This week ZTE officials told Capital that they are still negotiating with the state telecom firm to commence the expansion.
ZTE further stated that the expansion couldn’t begin on time because the SCC was not finalized. They say that there are many other reasons for the delay but ZTE cannot disclose them because of a signed NDA (non disclosure agreement) with the customer, ethio telecom.
Capital’s effort to meet officials at ethio telecom was unfruitful.
Ethio telecom has been awarded the USD 1.6 billion expansion project with the goal of finalizing the major part of the project in the end of the five year GTP plan, which sunsets this current fiscal year.