CAT TELECOM plans to launch 4G service as part of its My brand mobile phone operations next month, Viroj Tocharoenvanith, senior executive vice president for wireless business, said yesterday.
The new 4G service will mainly utilise the True Move H network of True Corp, after CAT and True reached a network-roaming deal recently.
Viroj said CAT was currently testing the roaming and technical aspects the 4G service, which would be officially launched next month.
“CAT will focus on a reasonable price package for specific users, with 4G bundled with 3G services, too. We are aiming to gain around 50,000 4G users by the end of this year,” he said.
The roaming 4G network with True – part of CAT’s recent agreement with True Move H Universal Communication (TUC) – would see TUC paying a rental fee of Bt9.3 billion to CAT for using the state agency’s 3G-850MHz network to provide wireless broadband service.
TUC had originally agreed to pay the rental fee to CAT in cash.
The original leasing agreement was for three years, 2013-2015, with TUC agreeing to lease around 17 per cent of the capacity of CAT’s 850MHz network.
However, the parties were unable to reach agreement on the payment details.
Under the recently concluded leasing deal, a fee of Bt9.3 billion has been agreed for the three-year period. TUC will pay Bt4.1 billion in cash within eight years and the remaining Bt5.2 billion will be paid to CAT in the form of 4G network capacity on its 1800MHz and 2.1GHz spectra for operations within 10 years.
According to TUC’s conditions under the agreement, the 4G network is exclusively for CAT’s My service.
CAT expects to gain 2 million users with at least Bt6 billion of revenue from 4G services, in net-present-value terms, through 2025, the executive said.
At the end of the first quarter, My had around 1.4 million users, of which 1.28 million were prepaid users.
CAT forecasts 2 million My users overall by the end of this year, generating revenue of Bt1.85 billion, against Bt1.18 billion last year.
The state agency has put Bt40 million into its new My price packages and the associated marketing campaign, charging only Bt199 per month for 1GB of data usage and Bt100 per month for 130 minutes of free calls to all networks.