TOT gets green light for Bt19 billion venture for 3G service

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Thailand’s Cabinet on Tuesday approved a TOT plan to invest Bt19 billion to set up an affiliate firm to provide and expand 3G services within six months, according to Minister of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Chuti Krairiksh.
Mr Chuti said that TOT Pcl will increase its base stations to 5,400, covering 12-15 provinces and that the new company had targeted to access 50 per cent of existing mobile users.
It also aimed to expand its coverage of high speed internet services, said the minister, adding that the company expected that the services to roll out within six months.
Thailand’s Supreme Administrative Court on Sept 23 upheld the Central Administrative Court injunction to suspend distribution of third generation (3G) wireless service, saying the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) was not authorised to award the 3G licences.
The Court reasoned that the NCT’s criteria for granting licences on the 2.1 gigahertz frequency spectrum was illegal and that the auction process, if continued, could cause severe damage.
CAT Telecom and TOT earlier this month filed separate complaints against the NTC to block its 3G auction.
TOT launched its own 3G-1.9 gigahertz service in December — but covering only greater Bangkok — over its old 2G network, which has been upgraded to 3G. (MCOT online news)