3G network expansion project to be held this year: Chairman

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The Chairman of TOT Plc has claimed that he will resign if the bid for the state telecom enterprise’s 632.90 million 3G network expansion project fails to materialize by the end of this month.

According to Areepong Bhoocha-oom, the permanent secretary of the Finance Ministry, bidding documents could be sold by next week so that the bid could be called by the end of the month and the contract with the winner will be signed in February. If this timetable is not met, he would review himself.

Mr Areepong added, he had worked hard to get the wireless broadband project off the ground but the selling of the bidding documents was behind schedule because of legal problems related to the terms of reference.

According to TOT president Varut Suvakorn previous statements, the bid could be delayed to January because of the longer-than-expected documentation process.

Mr Areepong further stated that the Office of the Attorney General was reviewing the legal issues and had returned some documents to TOT for revisions.

However, the delay would not be long and the contract signing would still be held in February as scheduled.

Simultaneously, TOT is seeking financing sources, with project details ready to be submitted to major Thai commercial banks within the next two weeks.

According to sources, the bid terms were being revised because of the struggle between two Chinese telecom giants that are long-time competitors for state telecom projects.

Editor3G network expansion project to be held this year: Chairman