NBTC nudges True to speed up 3G migration [Bangkok Post, Thailand]
(Bangkok Post (Thailand) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Dec. 16--True Move, the country's third-largest mobile operator, is being urged to migrate its second-generation (2G) users to other networks more efficiently to pave the way for the spectrum auction for 4G mobile service next year.
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) plans to auction 25 megahertz of the 1800-MHz spectrum for 4G service in September 2014.
NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasit insists 2G mobile service on the 1800-MHz network previously run by True Move and Digital Phone Co (DPC) will end by then.
The concessions of True Move and DPC, under an agreement with the state-owned CAT Telecom, expired this past September.
Both companies were allowed to retain their customers for another year but are not allowed to acquire new subscribers.
True Move still has 11 million customers on its network, down from 17 million in October. DPC has 40,000 users, down from 70,000.
Initially, True Move expected to migrate all its customers within four months.
Mr Takorn expressed concern that the migration process was moving too slowly last month, with less than 5% of the total base shifting to other networks.
The NBTC will raise the issue at its telecom committee meeting early next year to seek a resolution.
"True Move must better manage its customer transfers," said Mr Takorn.
The regulator expects to release detailed proposals for the 4G auction in February as scheduled despite political uncertainty in the country.
It has hired the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to study auction methods, estimate the value of spectra, set up reserve prices for licences and draft licence conditions.
The ITU will submit the study to the NBTC early next year.
Chakkrit Urairat, deputy director of regulatory matters at True Corporation, said the company is accelerating its migration process through the mobile number portability system, which enables users to retain their numbers when changing from one mobile network operator to another.
True Move also plans to give its 2G customers vouchers to buy 3G handsets and shift to its 3G network on the 850-MHz spectrum.
(c)2013 the Bangkok Post (Bangkok, Thailand)
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