Cellcos’ interconnection deals put ball in TOT’s court

17 Jan 2007

Thailand’s mobile market leader Advanced Info Services (AIS) has signed an interconnection rate agreement with the country’s third largest cellco True Move, following two similar deals – between AIS and second-placed DTAC, and DTAC and True Move – last November. The rates are expected to apply from early next month. The agreements between the trio of mobile operators are expected to increase the pressure on state-run fixed line operator TOT Corp to scrap the existing network access charge system. True Move and DTAC have threatened to cease paying TOT access charges this month, prompting TOT to issue a counter-threat to sue them. AIS president Wichien Mektrakarn insisted that his company’s interconnection arrangements had nothing to do with the access charge dispute its two rivals had with TOT. He said the agreement with True Move was not intended to pressure TOT, which wanted to delay the introduction of a new interconnection framework by a year. AIS is yet to sign new interconnect deals with fixed line operators including TOT, True Corp and TT&T.