Thai state-owned telco TOT has told Ericsson, Siemens and Huawei to finish a long-delayed project to install 565,000 new PSTN voice lines, as well as a deployment of 220,000 broadband connections, before the term of the current military-appointed government expires, reports the Bangkok Post. TOT board member Natee Sukolrat said the two European vendors were scheduled to have delivered 565,000 new telephone numbers in August 2006 after wining contracts in 2005 with a combined price of THB5.8 billion (USD190 million). The project was divided into three zones with Siemens winning Zone 1 covering Bangkok and the northeastern provinces, and Ericsson winning Zone 2 (central and southern provinces) and Zone 3 (northern and eastern provinces). Huawei of China is undertaking the broadband expansion project. The suppliers claimed flooding in several parts of the country, and unrest in the south were major factors that have delayed construction, whilst TOT admitted further delays were caused by the project being expanded beyond the original contract terms. The spokesman said that TOT would fine Siemens and Ericsson a total of 0.1% of the project value per day overdue.
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