Samart has high hopes for 3G MVNO

19 Nov 2009

The president of Thailand’s Samart Corp, Watchai Vilailuck, has announced that the group expects its start-up 3G mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) business to contribute 10% of its mobile handset retail division Samart I-Mobile’s revenues in 2010. Samart plans to offer packages bundling its own branded handsets and mobile internet/multimedia applications to compete directly with the country’s ADSL fixed broadband service providers. The mobile phone division’s COO, Jong Diloksombat, said the company planned to spend THB40 million (USD1.2 million) on promotion for its upcoming MVNO service, whilst it has agreements in place with mobile device manufacturers including Samsung, LG, Sony Ericsson and HTC as well as PC manufacturer Acer to promote mobile broadband services. Samart’s MVNO will be launched over the W-CDMA/HSPA network of state-run telco TOT, which has scheduled a commercial 3G launch in Bangkok in early December after upgrading the infrastructure of subsidiary Thai Mobile. This date has been put in doubt, though, as TOT has repeatedly been told to clarify its business plan by the government. Four other applications to resell 3G services over TOT’s new network are also under consideration, from Loxley, 365 Communication, IEC International and M Consultant Corporation, but Samart is thus far the only company to have received a five-year MVNO licence from regulator the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

Thailand, Samart, TOT