Thai telco TOT Corp is experiencing problems with its year-old billing system that could cost it ‘billions’ of Thai baht in future expenses, according to company executives. TOT’s current billing system was rolled out in April 2005 under a five-year THB1.2 billion (USD32 million) contract with domestic IT provider Telemetics. It has since been plagued with technical setbacks, resulting in billing delays and widespread complaints from customers and employees. State-run TOT is considering hiring a Singaporean software developer to help review the system after Telemetics reported that cash flow problems had hindered its ability to address shortcomings. TOT has fined Telemetics THB149 million for the system failures, a sum that one TOT union official described as ‘a pittance’ when compared with the overall size of the project and the losses incurred in terms of call revenues and lost business. Under the contract, TOT pays Telemetics THB19 million per month to cover operational costs. Despite the problems, executives say terminating the contract is currently impossible as it would result in the collapse of the entire billing system.
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