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Mexican government threatens to countersue Rivada

Rivada Networks’ legal challenge against its disqualification from Mexico’s wholesale network tender could be met by a counter-challenge from the state, the government has warned.

The Mexican government issued the warning following Rivada’s move to contest its disqualification in court. The firm was ruled out of the auction after missing the deadline for presenting a $52 million bid bond, leaving Altan as the sole remaining bidder for - and therefore winner of - the tender.

Gerardo Ruiz Esparza, the head of Mexico’s Secretariat of Communications and Transportation’s (STC), hit back at Rivada, arguing that their legal claims “do not correspond to the facts” and adding that “the government is considering what action to take against the kind of comments that have been made. The company is filing complaints, wanting to make out that the authority was guilty for what the company did not submit.”

Following Altan’s win, Rivada issued a statement claiming that its coverage bid was “far better” and would deliver wider coverage, attract more investment, and provide a greater benefit to several million Mexicans through the digital inclusion policy.

The firm noted: “These benefits could have been achieved simply through an assessment of the two bids, instead of the illegal and purely procedural disqualification of Rivada Networks, in breach of the principles and provisions of the Law on Public-Private Partnerships.”

Rivada’s statement also expressed confidence that the federal courts would give its arguments due analysis. The firm’s Co-CEO Declan Ganley added his own opinion by tweeting: “No surprise, Rivada’s coverage plan is significantly higher than only opened bid. People of Mexico are being given a raw deal, which is sad.”

Having already raised $750 million in investment, Altan is aiming to extend the network to 92% of Mexico’s inhabitants over the next seven years. It will have access to high quality 700MHz spectrum as part of its 20 year public-private partnership contract. The resulting 4G network will be leased out to operators, with the model aimed at reducing the clout of market leader America Movil.

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