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September 20, 1990


By CBR Staff Writer

British Telecommunications Plc has been in talks with large Thai agricultural and industrial group Charoen Pokphand for some time – now Reuters reports that the Telecom Organisation of Thailand has awarded the two a 25-year phone concession to enlarge and operate the telecommunications system for the fast expanding country. A spokesman for the Thai government said that the CP Telecommunications Co Ltd arm of Charoen and partner British Telecommunications beat off four rival consortia for the right to install and operate 3m new lines. While British Telecom spokesmen in London were busy denying that any such concession had been awarded, the phone company’s representative in Bangkok, Bob Marchant, confirmed that the group is ready to invest at least $5.9m to lay 2m new phone lines in the capital, and a further 1m elsewhere over the next six years. State-owned Telephone Organisation of Thailand, which currently has the capacity to install lines at the rate of only 100,000 a year, said that the CP-British Telecom group has agreed to pay the government 16% of its revenue from phones installed in Bangkok and its satellite towns, and 22% of the revenue from the proposed provincial service. Marchant said he expects the contract to be signed in about two months, and that the group will float local and international tenders for equipment to be used in the system. The other contenders for the business, now likely to be disappointed, reportedly include L M Ericsson Telefon AB, Alcatel NV, a consortium led by Mitsui & Co, and another Japanese firm, Tpoya Menka Kaisha.

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