Huawei Sues Cambodian Mobile Network for Unpaid Invoices
An attempt by a Cambodian mobile network to migrate its customers to a rival network after filing for bankruptcy may be held up by legal action from Huawei over unpaid invoices.
Cambodian mobile network operator, Mfone filed for bankruptcy last month after its Thai based parent company failed to complete a deal to sell the company to INT Management Service.
Mfone is currently in the process of migrating its customer base to rival network, Mobitel pending its own closure.
However, Huawei is suing the company for around US$65 million in unpaid invoices, and has told the Phnom Penh Post that a court order freezing network assets to the value of the outstanding invoices means that the customer transfer cannot take place.
Huawei's lawyer, Kuoy Thunna, filed a letter late last month with the Phnom Penh Municipal Court "My client understands that [the] legal change of Mfone is leading to a loss of my client's benefit if there is no urgent legal measure, so my client requests the court to take action."
Thunna told the Post: "I think that when Mfone transfers its subscribers to Mobitel, it will violate the injunction.
Mfone has struggled in the Cambodian market, which is characterized by a high number of networks competing against each other.
The Thaicom group which is the majority shareholder had tried to seek an extension on the sale agreement due to difficulties with debt restructuring, but eventually had to seek the bankruptcy order. Thaicom is the company controlled by Thailand's former Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra.
Following the closure of Mfone, the country will still be left with six mobile networks, although that should fall to five following the upcoming merger of Hello Axiata and Smart Mobile.
On the web: Phnom Penh Post