CAT to enter MVNO JV with Tesco Lotus

telecomasia.net

Thailand's CAT Telecom has revealed plans to set up a 50:50 MVNO joint venture with retail chain Tesco Lotus.

The state-owned operator will lease the use of its 850-MHz mobile network to the joint venture, while Tesco Lotus will offer services and establish a SIM distribution channel, the Nation reported.

While Tesco Lotus had originally planned to lease CAT's network, the companies have subsequently negotiated to set up the joint venture.

The joint venture agreement is due to expire at the end of CAT's telecom license period in 2025.

CAT currently has four MVNO customers - True Corp's Real Move and True Move H, as well as 168 Communications and Data CDMA. Real Move alone uses 80% of CAT's 850-MHz capacity and has 13.5 million subscribers.

CAT recently withdrew its participation in Thailand's upcoming 4G auction after being unable to find a foreign partner to take part in the bid.

The operator is under pressure to reinvent itself as a result of the transition from the build-operate-transfer concession model for telecom licenses to the more standard spectrum auction model.  

Tesco Lotus is a Thai hypermarket chain that is a subsidiary of British supermarket chain Tesco.

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