Invisible ink: ‘opaque’ TOT can’t see through red tape to sign 3G contract

3 Mar 2011

Under accusations of non-transparency, Thailand’s sole 2100MHz 3G mobile operator TOT has delayed finalising a national W-CDMA/HSPA rollout contract whilst the Office of the Auditor General carries out an investigation into its bidding process and the telco reforms its board following resignations over other legal matters, a director of the state-owned firm disclosed yesterday. The Bangkok Post writes that the board has suspended signing a contract with the winning SL Consortium ‘for the time being’ as the resignation of a board member, Sayan Satangmongkol – the sixth to step down in the last few weeks – means TOT lacks a quorum and will be unable to make important investment decisions. Recently, five of the twelve board members quit because of a potential legal backlash over the state enterprise’s move to demand compensation from cellco AIS for past concession revisions. Meanwhile, the winning group of 3G network equipment vendors – Samart, Loxley, Huawei and Nokia Siemens Networks – have agreed to a state request to cut their price from THB16.29 billion (USD532 million) to THB15.99 billion.

Thailand, TOT