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Cellular firms map out expansion, quality-improvement plans for 2014

The big three cellular operators say they will focus this year on building their brands, expanding their broadband networks and improving the quality of their products and services.



Pakorn Pannachet, senior vice president for marketing for Total Access Communication (DTAC), said it would spend more this year on increasing awareness of its TriNet and Happy brands.

TriNet represents DTAC's use of the 1,800-megahertz (second generation), 850MHz and 2.1-gigahertz (both third generation) spectra, while Happy is its well-known prepaid calling service.

DTAC will also continue to offer its house-brand TriNet smartphones priced at about Bt1,000 to woo customers. The company last June introduced three TriNet models, all of them compatible all three spectra.

The company targets sales of 400,000 TriNet smartphones this year, up from an estimated 200,000-plus units last year.

Somchai Lertsutiwong, chief marketing officer of Advanced Info Service, said AIS would not use pricing to woo customers but attractive wireless data packages and mobile applications.

This year AIS will seek additional bandwidth by joining the much-anticipated 1,800MHz spectrum auction or by partnering with TOT, which has rights to the 3G-2.1GHz spectrum.

Recently Somchai said AIS was confident that it would boast the best 3G network this year, just like its 2G network is perceived by the public as No 1.

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission in December 2012 awarded a 2.1GHz licence to each of the three auction winners - Advanced Wireless Network (AWN) of AIS, DTAC TriNet and Real Future of True Corp.

Suphachai Chearavanont, chief executive of True Corp, said it would work on offering appealing devices and content and extending its 3G and 4G networks to offer a wireless data superhighway to customers this year.

Despite the forecast by analysts of a sluggish economy this year, the purchasing power of telecom consumers is not expected to drop. People will still splurge on new high-tech mobile phones. They are willing to spend on new devices and broadband wireless access services, he said.


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