True Corp looks to bank loans
True Corp plans to borrow from banks to finance the rollout of its 2.1GHz network nationwide.CEO Suphachai Chearavanont yesterday declined to elaborate and did not identify the banks.
This year True aims to complete the deployment of 5,000 cell sites nationwide for the 3G-2.1GHz network and 2,000 sites in 15 major cities for the 4G network. It plans to premier the 4G service in Bangkok in April with 100 sites.
Late last year True said its mobile-phone-service group has set aside about Bt15 billion for this year for further expansion, of which most will be spent on establishing the 2.1GHz network.
In 2011 True borrowed Bt49 billion from a syndicate of banks, of which Bt26 billion was for debt refinancing and the rest for expansion. But this new bank loan will be solely for the 3G-2.1GHz and 4G network installation.
True's Real Future is one of three holders of 2.1GHz licences. The others are Advanced Wireless Network of Advanced Info Service and DTAC Network of Total Access Communication. All are expected to debut the service in April.
Another True subsidiary, Real Move, provides a 3G-850MHz service under the TrueMove H brand in partnership with CAT Telecom, using around 13,000 existing sites nationwide.
True is in no hurry to find a strategic partner, Suphachai.