12 firms keen to join One Tablet bid

At least a dozen bidders have expressed interest in supplying 1.63 million tablets to the government under the second phase of the state's One Tablet Per Child project.

Final terms of reference are expected to be posted on the government's website by mid-May.

An electronic auction to procure the 1.63 million tablets, worth 4.61 billion baht, is set to take place next month, according to the Office of the Basic Education Commission.

Local bidders include Songkhla Finishing, Supreme Computer, SVOA, Samart Corporation and Forth Corporation, which makes its own 7-inch tablet.

The Chinese bidders are Huawei, Haier, ZTE and Shenzhen Scope Scientific Development, the winner in the project's first phase.

A source from the One Tablet Per Child procurement committee said the specification of tablets given to Mathayom 1 students is being upgraded with a 4,000 milliamp-hour battery, up from 3,600 mAh earlier.

The first batch of tablets, or 25% of the total, must be delivered within 35 days after contracts are signed, the source said. All tablets must be delivered within 90 days.

Qualified bidders must have experience in government projects worth at least 100 million baht.

The source said the single-day auction will invite bids for eight contracts in all four regions of the country.

A bidder can win more than one contract.

The first region covers the central and southern provinces with 431,105 tablets for Prathom 1 students.

The second region covers the North and Northeast with 373,637 tablets for Prathom 1 students.

The third region covers the central and southern areas with 426,683 tablets for Mathayom 1 students.

The fourth zone covers the North and Northeast with 402,889 tablets for Mathayom 1 students.

An industry source predicts Chinese tablet makers to win the auction, citing their lower product prices.

The source also expressed concern about poor Chinese product quality and resulting electronic waste problems.

Related search: thailand, schools, million, tablet, bidding, may

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Writer: Suchit Leesa-nguansuk
Position: Senior Reporter