Thai OTPC contract finally signed

Don Sambandaraksa
telecomasia.net
Thailand’s ICT Ministry has finally signed a $32.8 million purchase contract for 400,000 Android tablets from China’s Schenzhen Scope Scientific Development, as the first phase of its one tablet per child project.
 
The final specification in the contract signed was for a 7-inch 1.2-GHz Dual-core Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) tablet with a 3,600 mAh battery and a two-year guarantee at $82 apiece.
 
Thailand currently has 850,000 primary one students. However, of around 20,000 schools, only 9,600 currently have internet connectivity and are ready to receive the tablets. These schools will be served first with a future procurement of 530,000 units.
 
The project has had its numbers jump up and down from 900,000 to 1 million and media reports of the final budget varying from 1.9 billion baht to 2.4 billion baht prior to the announcement.
 
It was also originally designed as a G2G deal between the Thai and Chinese governments in exchange for rice, then changed into a regular procurement, then back into a G2G deal after the Prime Minister’s visit to China. this process finally culminated in the signing of the deal yesterday.
 
The units will have to be delivered within 90 days, which would mean early July, not in time for the beginning of term later this month.
 
Schenzhen Scope has a production capacity of 20,000 units a day and will setup 30 service centers across Thailand to provide after sales service.
 
State-owned telco TOT Corporation has been charged with providing Wi-Fi connectivity for the project with a budget of $275 million.

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