The Bangkok Post reports that state-run TOT has upgraded more than 90% of its 548 mobile base stations in Bangkok with W-CDMA/HSPA technology and says it will be ready to provide 3G services by the first week of December. TOT board spokesman Ratian Srimongkol said 514 base stations in Bangkok – owned through subsidiary Thai Mobile – had already been upgraded and the state telecom enterprise was now in the process of screening private companies wishing to resell mobile broadband services over the new network, whilst TOT will reserve 20% of its network capacity to provide its own 3G services. The reports says five companies – Samart I-Mobile, Loxley, 356 Co, IEC International and M Consultant Corporation – have passed pre-qualification requirements to become mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), but TOT will only select the three with the best business plans. Mr Ratian said the winners would be announced on 12 November.
Meanwhile, the Post also published TOT’s net profit for the first nine months of 2009 of THB5.1 billion (USD152 million), up by THB811 million from the same period last year, although total revenues dropped by THB1 billion year-on-year. Mr Ratian said that profit rose because the company saved THB1.8 billion in expenditure. The telco’s revenues from domestic call services continued to drop, only partly offset by an increase in broadband services turnover and international call revenue.