True earmarks USD150 million for 3G

4 Jul 2008

True Move has earmarked THB5 billion (USD150 million) to roll out a 3G mobile network using 850MHz spectrum after CAT Telecom, the state-run owner of True’s build-transfer-operate (BTO) network, agreed to allocate it 5MHz of bandwidth in the frequency band. According to the Bangkok Post, True Move plans to deploy high speed packet access (HSPA) technology to roll out a network with capacity for 1.5 million subscribers. The cellco’s CEO Suphachai Chearavanont said commercial 3G services should be launched by the end of this year. True is Thailand’s third largest mobile operator by subscribers, behind its fellow CAT BTO concessionary DTAC, which also plans to utilise 850MHz frequencies (which it previously used for analogue services). Market leader AIS has already launched limited commercial 3G services using W-CDMA/HSPA technology in the 900MHz band, after receiving permission from both its BTO network ‘host’ TOT and the government. CAT operates a 3G CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev A provincial network in the 800MHz band under the CAT CDMA brand, as well as EV-DO-based services via its joint venture with Hong Kong’s Hutchison in Bangkok and central areas. The Thai authorities have delayed the issuing of 2100MHz UMTS licences, which are now hoped for by the end of the year.

Thailand, True Move