CAT plans 3G tests in October

01 Sep 2006

CAT Telecom plans a soft launch of its 3G service starting October in 10 provinces on a three-month trial basis with Hutch.

The planned launch follows the partial delivery of more than 1,500 base stations by the Chinese equipment supplier Huawei Technologies to CAT Telecom.

Huawei Technologies was awarded the 7.2-billion-baht contract to build a cdma2000 1X EV-DO network set to cover 51 provinces.

The telecommunications network is the largest in Southeast Asia and serves around 4 million subscribers.

According to CAT Telecom deputy president Phisal Jorphochaudom, the soft launch of the high-speed data communications and multimedia services would take three months. If it proved successful, the commercial launch would follow in late January 2007.

The three-month trial period would enable CAT Telecom to assess the behavior of users and to work out a marketing plan for the first quarter of next year, Jorphochaudom said.

During the trial period, Hutch subscribers would also be able to use their handsets in the 10 provinces, including Phuket, Chiang Mai, Phitsanulok, and Khon Kaen, due to an initial roaming agreement between CAT Telecom and Hutch.

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