CAT Telecom has contracted South Korean firms Insprit and Internet Protocol Network to provide multimedia content for its nationwide CDMA2000 mobile service, reports the Bangkok Post. CAT’s senior executive vice-president Jirayu Roongsrithong said that the vendors would provide wireless broadband internet and video streaming services, with content services to be made available on a trial basis in three months time. More than 20 local and international content application firms have approached the state-owned carrier, he said, adding that CAT did not set any restrictions on vendor applicants because it wanted an open market so that its customers would benefit from the best possible content.
CAT Telecom offers CDMA2000 1x and 1xEV-DO mobile services in 51 northern and southern provinces over a wholly owned network under the CAT CDMA banner, whilst providing similar services in 25 central provinces, including metropolitan Bangkok, under the Hutch brand, via Hutchison CAT Wireless Multimedia (HCWM), a joint venture with Hong Kong-based Hutchison Telecom International (HTIL). Jirayu Roongsrithong said that CAT is stepping up efforts to develop its CDMA services on its own network, as well as that of Hutch in the 25 central provinces. HTIL has written off previous investment in HCWM and has severely limited new spending on the venture, and the CAT executive added that the state-run operator was negotiating to buy out the Hong Kong firm to complete its nationwide CDMA footprint.