Jirayu Roongsrithong, CAT Telecom’s mobile business unit head, was quoted in the Bangkok Post as saying that the state-run operator was ready to focus on CDMA-based 3G expansion now that it had agreed to sell its stake in floundering GSM joint venture Thai Mobile to its sister telco TOT. CAT intends to introduce commercial 3G services based on CDMA2000 1xEV-DO technology across all 51 provinces covered by its CAT CDMA network by the end of this year. He said that an auction would be called next month for repeater equipment worth an estimated THB870 million (USD26.2 million) to expand the coverage of the network from its current footprint of 80% of residential areas in northern and southern provinces. The goal is to build its customer base to 180,000 by the end of this year from a disappointing 80,000 at present. Its existing network of 1,600 base stations was installed by Chinese vendor Huawei Technologies.