State-run Thai operator CAT Telecom will launch a full commercial version of its ‘My’ branded retail 3G W-CDMA/HSPA mobile service for provincial customers in January 2012, after cancelling a planned launch earlier this month due to the country’s disastrous flooding. The Nation newspaper reports that CAT’s 850MHz retail HSPA offering – currently operated as a very limited pre-commercial service – will initially only be available to post-paid users. The telco says it will invest THB300 million (USD9.5 million) on developing a ‘My’ pre-paid service, which is expected to be ready for launch by the middle of the year.
The ‘My’ service is being rolled out over the new HSPA network shared with CAT’s private sector 3G partner True Corp, which launched its ‘True Move H’ HSPA service in 17 provinces in August, following its takeover of CAT’s previous public-private joint venture partner Hutch and via a complicated clutch of wholesale-resale deals signed by the pair in January. The agreements have been called into question by the National Broadcasting & Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), which in late-September ruled that the 14-year contracts violate regulations related to significant market power under the Trade Competition Act and the Public-Private Joint Venture Act 1992. Today, The Nation reports that CAT intends to inform the NBTC by 9 December on the details of amendments to the HSPA/Hutch contracts to be made by itself and True in order to comply with the regulator’s legal interpretation.