TOT losing partners after issuance of 3G licences
The awarding of the 2.1-gigahertz licences by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) last December has led to potential partners losing interest in forging a long-term deal with TOT to provide third-generation cellular service, TOT chairman Udom Puasaukul said.
Currently, Samart Corp is the only major telecom firm in talks with TOT to be a long-term partner to provide the 3G-2.1GHz service on a mobile virtual network (MVNO) basis, he added. He said the other major telecom firms had pulled out of talks.
In December, the NBTC awarded the 2.1GHz licences to three auction winners, which were subsidiaries of Advanced Info Service, Total Access Communication and True Corp. The licence holders are expected to kick off 3G service in April.
TOT has also moved at a slow pace in establishing its 3G-2.1GHz network nationwide. It is expected to finish installing 5,320 3G base stations by April, of which 700 are yet to be installed. It was originally scheduled to complete the entire nationwide network installation last May.
Currently TOT has five 3G MVNO partners, including Samart and Loxley. But they hold only short-term contracts.
The state agency will also demonstrate fourth-generation service on its 2.3GHz spectrum on February 22 to mark its 59th anniversary.
The TOT board yesterday approved the appointment of new president Yongyuth Wattanasin, with immediate effect. Before his appointment, he was the senior executive vice president. He will earn a monthly salary of Bt380,000.