19 Mar 2012
Thailand’s Ministry of Information and Communication Technology has decided that a 3G network deal made in January 2011 between state-owned CAT Telecom and private sector operator True Corp is illegal. The decision was based on conclusions reached by the ICT Ministry’s investigative committee scrutinising the network building/leasing/reselling deal, ICT Minister Anudith Nakornthap said, as quoted by The Bangkok Post. Following True’s purchase of CAT’s former joint venture partner Hutch Thailand, in January 2011 CAT and True formed a resale partnership to deploy a HSPA-based 850MHz 3G network, over which True launched its commercial ‘True Move H’ service in August, while CAT rolled out a limited 3G service branded ‘My’ over the same network. Although full details of the ICT committee’s report have not yet been made public, Minister Anudith said these would be revealed ‘next week’. The Post quotes True Corp CEO Suphachai Chearavanont as saying that he was ‘not concerned’ by the ministry’s statement, as the matter would need to go to court, and could take ‘many years’ to be resolved. However, Mr Suphachai added that True is willing to adjust its wholesale/resale 3G contracts with CAT to comply with the requirements in the committee’s report.