Four entities - one firm and three consortiums - have presented bids in a tender for the deployment of a national fiber optic network in Colombia, the IT and communications ministry (Mintic) said in a statement.
The four companies are Telmex Colombia and joint ventures Fibra Óptica Colombiana, Conectividad para Todos and Unión Temporal Telefónica, Mintic said.
Fibra Optica Colombiana is comprised of Total Play and TV Azteca, while Conectividad para Todos is made up of the local unit of Chinese company ZTE, Media Commerce Partners, Exicom and Anditel. Telecoms operators Telefónica Colombia and Movistar also partnered under Unión Temporal Telefónica for the project.
The government's idea is to lay a fiber optic network to connect at least 400 municipalities across the country. Once the network is fully deployed, approximately 90% of the country's geography will have broadband coverage, the ministry said.
The project is to be financed by the government and private capital. The government will provide financing of a total 416bn pesos (US$217mn).
The deployment of the network, which is expected to take approximately 30 months, will enable the government to reach the main goal of its connectivity program Vive Digital, which is to provide broadband connectivity to 8.8mn people in 2014.
Mintic expects to award the contract on November 4.