CAT ‘ready for 3G’

20 Jun 2006

Thai state-run operator CAT Telecom says it is ready to begin rolling out 3G mobile services as soon as regulator the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) clarifies regulations for the next generation technology. CAT is in talks with the Thai arm of Hutchison International, its partner in joint venture Hutchison CAT Wireless Multimedia, about introducing 3G services based on CDMA2000 1xEV-DO technology, and insists that it will be straightforward to upgrade to the new platform. Teerasak Karnchanasakchai, a CAT board member, said the company would seek a 3G licence for the 800MHz frequency band currently used by Hutchison CAT’s CDMA2000 1x and IS-95A networks. The NTC earlier called a meeting for all interested parties to contribute towards setting licensing guidelines for 3G services. Most telecom operators agreed that a 2×15MHz paired spectrum allocation within the 1900MHz-2100MHz band would be suitable to award three W-CDMA 3G licences. According to unconfirmed reports in October 2005, the government previously gave CAT the nod to roll out a CDMA2000 1xEV-DO network, but the licensing requirements for the service remain unclear. State-owned Thai Mobile is the country’s sole holder of a 3G licence, awarded by a previous government in August 2000.

Thailand, CAT Telecom, Hutch (Thailand)