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Indian operator in dispute with Huawei over bill payments

An Indian operator has reportedly been notified that it will lose its network support unless it pays its bills. Huawei is believed to have issued a legal notice informing Videocon Mobile that it is owed over US$150 million, after the 2G operator commissioned Huawei to provide network equipment and support in 2009.

A source at India’s Economic Times claimed that “Videocon has not paid 85 percent of the equipment contract.” Huawei is providing the operator with network equipment and managed services in numerous circles including Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Mumbai and Punjab.

By the time the operator’s pan-India licences were revoked by the Indian Supreme Court in February, it had already missed the deadline for payment. Huawei is believed to have dropped its services support for Videocon Telecom – the operator’s telecom business – so as to apply some pressure. The Chinese vendor provides maintenance, as well as spare parts and managed services delivery.

Videocon Mobile reportedly intends to reapply for its 2G licence, which was cancelled following India’s 2G licensing scandal. Bidding is due to start next month. Currently, the operator has deployed around half of its contractually required infrastructure quota and has around 7.7 million subscribers.

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