State-owned Thai telecoms operator TOT is poised to take over concessionaire True Corporation’s fixed line operations in the Bangkok Metropolitan Area (BMA) upon the expiry of the long-standing build-transfer-operate (BTO) agreement on 26 October 2017. Anurut Uthairat, senior executive vice-president for TOT’s fixed line business, told the Bangkok Post that the transition will be a smooth one, as TOT has spent months preparing the operational procedures that will be needed to take over the provision of services to around 1.2 million customers. In the BMA True operates via a BTO agreement signed with TOT in August 1991 for the provision of local and domestic long-distance services. Fixed line assets outside of the BMA will be unaffected by the transfer. True has been paying 18% of its revenue to TOT under this concession.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, TOT assumed control of all wireline operations belonging to provincial fixed line operator TT&T on 1 March 2017, well before the stricken telco’s concession is due to expire in October 2018. Previously, in March 2016 the Central Bankruptcy Court ordered the confiscation of TT&T’s wireline assets, and in November that year the court requested that TOT take responsibility for two jobs: repairing or replacing transmission equipment, and maintaining TT&T’s network to ensure service continuity after the concession expires.