TOT to offer commercial 3G on Friday [Bangkok Post, Thailand]
(Bangkok Post (Thailand) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Feb. 19--TOT Plc set Feb 22 as the official launch date for its third-generation (3G) commercial nationwide service, offered at 2G prices.
The state telecom enterprise promised to provide affordable 3G tariff plans, starting at 299 baht a month for two gigabytes of data usage, or a monthly fee of 899 baht for an unlimited package.
President Yongyuth Wattanasin said it is offering 3G nationwide wireless broadband services on 4,063 base stations, rising to 5,300 in April.
"We will also launch a 4G trial on our existing 2100-megahertz frequency before this Friday at 100 sites," he said, adding 4G service will start once the state sees a good market response.
Samart recently proposed TOT install LTE equipment as part of its first phase for the 3G network on a trial basis. TOT hired Samart and Loxley as SL Consortium to install 5,300 base stations for its first phase worth 15.9 billion baht.
TOT initially signed contracts with five companies to provide first phase service as mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs): Samart i-Mobile, Loxley, IEC Technology, 365 Communication and M Consult.
MVNOs usually do not have their own networks and lease bandwidth from network operators to offer cellular service.
Mr Yongyuth added TOT is working on its survival plan to adapt to a new licensing regime. TOT's three private telecom concessions, held by Advanced Info Service (AIS), True Corp and TT&T, end soon.
TOT will not be able to book any concession-related revenue on their financial statements as their own after December 2013. The Frequency Allocation Act ruled state telecom enterprises must transfer all concession revenue to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, with the regulator passing it to the state coffers.
TOT aims to become a national network service provider.
Mr Yongyuth acknowledged TOT must quickly implement a number of projects under its survival plan. The highlights include TOT's second phase of 3G, which requires an additional 12,000 to 15,000 base stations nationwide; fibre-optic nationwide network expansion to 420,000 ports; and a plan to rent telecom-tower infrastructure to winners of digital TV licences and 3G and 4G licences.
TOT will sign a partnership agreement with free television stations this Friday to rent its telecom networks for broadcasting programmes.
TOT aims to improve its submarine fibre-optic internet routes with the Asian Economic Community coming in 2016.
(c)2013 the Bangkok Post (Bangkok, Thailand)
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