Loxley-Samart team win bid for TOT's nationwide 3G rollout

Construction News

Loxley, teamed with Samart Corp, won bid for Thailand’s state-owned phone operator TOT Plc’s nationwide 3G rollout with Bt16.29 billion for a contract to be signed in February.

TOT on Friday morning opened a 17.4 billion baht third-generation wireless-spectrum auction online (E-auction) for procurement to expand Thailand’s 3G network. The auction took place for only 30 minutes.
The winning bidders were the SL consortium of Samart Corporation and Loxley Plc, with Huawei Technology supplying the network and equipment and Nokia Siemens. The price won was 6.95 per cent below the mean price of Bt16.29 billion.

The other qualifying bidder –the AU consortium of Advanced Information Technology and United Communications– lost by bidding at Bt16.77 billion.

TOT Senior Executive Vice-President Arnon Tubtiang said after the auction the fact that the bid price was below the mean price was satisfying. The auction committee will officially inform TOT next week to negotiate the price and verify the contract details for further contract signing in mid-February.

The service’s first phase is expected in April in accordance with the government’s policy to speed up the provision of 3G service in the country. TOT will expand its 3G coverage of over 5,000 base stations nationwide within this year.

Samart Corp executive director Watchai Vilailuck said the bidding price was satisfying. His company is set to finish the equipment installation within one year to prevent fines that otherwise may occur.

ZTE – a consortium of ZTE and Forth Corporation, and the Ericsson-A.S. Associate Engineering (1964) consortium were previously disqualified for the bidding in a screening process, prompting it to petition the Administrative Court for a temporary halt to the TOT’s auction.

The Cabinet in September allowed TOT a budget of Bt19.9 billion on the 3G project, of which Bt17.44 billion would be for acquiring the network equipment and the rest to provide suppliers for expanding its existing 3G network in the Thai capital and its vicitiny.

TOT will provide some of its cash flow for this matter, while the rest of about Bt15 billion will be raised through bank loans. (MCOT online news)