CAT’s 3G dream to come True in two months?

17 Feb 2011

CAT Telecom reckons it will be able to switch on a new 3G HSPA-based network within two months, despite legal uncertainties over the complicated partnership deals the state-owned telco struck with True Move to roll out the infrastructure, reports The Nation quoting CAT chief executive Jirayuth Rungsrithong. True Move is installing HSPA equipment – previously sourced for its own trial 850MHz network – in 25 central provinces of Thailand alongside – and in due course to replace – the Hutch CDMA2000 network it has taken over from CAT’s previous joint venture partner Hutchison Telecom in a deal struck last month. Jirayuth said that CAT and True Move subsidiaries Real Move and Real Future had already completed some appendices of the contracts they signed on 27 January. CAT has agreed to lease the HSPA network from Real Future and provide wholesale capacity to reseller Real Move. The four main deals involve: BFKT (owned by Real Future) to lease the HSPA network to CAT; Real Move to resell the planned HSPA service; BFKT to lease its CDMA network in 25 provinces to CAT, and for Hutchison-CAT Wireless Multimedia (owned by Real Move) to market the service on the CDMA network in 25 provinces. On the signing date, Appendix 6 of the HSPA network lease between CAT and BFKT, regarding network capacity delivery in the first phase and the calculation of fines, was left blank. A note said the contractual parties will negotiate to finish this part as soon as possible. Appendix 7, regarding the service-level agreement and fine calculation, was also left open. The deals CAT granted to True’s retail and wholesale subsidiaries raised questions about their legitimacy, including whether they fall under the jurisdiction of the Public-Private Joint Venture Act of 1992. Information and Communications Technology Minister Chuti Krairiksh sent a letter to the Attorney General’s Office last Friday asking for a ruling on whether the deals complied with all laws and regulations.

Thailand, CAT Telecom, True Move