TOT signs agreement to take 100% of Thai Mobile, reveals 3G wholesale plan

11 Jul 2008

State-owned telcos TOT and CAT Telecom have signed a long-awaited agreement under which TOT will purchase its sister company’s 42% stake in GSM cellular joint venture Thai Mobile for THB2.4 billion (USD72 million), plus assume over THB6 billion in debt, reports the Bangkok Post. Under the new memorandum of understanding TOT will raise its stake in the failed cellco to 100% in return for paying the full asking price over five years. After the signing, TOT announced a plan to use Thai Mobile’s 1900MHz wireless spectrum to launch 3G services via a new subsidiary under the TOT Mobile brand, saying that it intended to invest THB30 billion in rolling out a next-generation network ready for commercial use within one year. Initially, the plan would see TOT investing THB2 billion-THB3 billion to upgrade Thai Mobile’s existing 500 GSM base stations in Bangkok and satellite provinces to a third-generation platform and transferring existing subscribers (numbering no more than 60,000) to the new system. TOT aims to offer wholesale 3G network services to private sector mobile operators AIS, DTAC and True, as well as fixed line operator TT&T should it choose to enter the cellular sector. TOT estimates that TOT Mobile would account for no more than 20% of 3G traffic over the proposed network with its direct service, while the bulk of the business would be generated by private 3G operators renting its infrastructure.

Thailand, CAT Telecom, Thai Mobile, TOT