Thai state-owned CAT Telecom has issued a statement in conjunction with the CDMA Development Group saying that it has expanded the 3G capabilities of its provincial CDMA2000 mobile network to 51 provinces. CAT expects the move to enable it to sign up a total of around 180,000 customers to the service, branded CAT CDMA, by the end of this year, up from less than 50,000 currently. The newly upgraded CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev A network is capable of delivering high speed internet access and advanced mobile broadband services, the company said, adding that Rev A’s capabilities yield average user downlink data rates of 600kbps-1400kbps with bursts up to 3.1Mbps and average uplink data rates of 500kbps-800kbps with bursts up to 1.8Mbps in a 1.25MHz radio channel. The network, with an initial capacity to serve up to 500,000 data users, is intended to enable access to advanced multimedia applications in upcountry areas that are not easily accessible by fixed line communications, CAT officials added. Hutchison CAT Wireless Multimedia (HCWM), a joint venture between CAT Telecom and Hong Kong-based Hutchison Telecom International (HTIL), provides CDMA2000 mobile services in 25 provinces in central Thailand, including metropolitan Bangkok, under the Hutch brand, whilst CAT Telecom’s wholly owned CAT CDMA network offers mobile services in the country’s other 51 provinces. HCWM had 1.07 million subscribers at the end of March.