CAT prepares for 3G, eagerly waits regulators to set rules

20 Jun 2006

(Bangkok Post via NewsEdge) CAT Telecom is ready to jump into 3G mobile phone services as soon as Thailand's National Telecommunications Commission clarifies regulations for the next-generation technology.

The state enterprise is in talks with cellular partner Hutch about introducing 3G services, and insists that its technology platform will be able to shift to the new system.

Teerasak Karnchanasakchai, a CAT board member, said the state agency would seek a 3G license for the 800 Megahertz bandwidth.

He said that CAT did not need to start with interim 2.75G technology, as the CDMA platform that CAT was installing with Chinese supplier Huawei Technologies could shift directly to 3G, offering data transmission speeds of up to 584 kbps.

Current GSM cellular technology offers much slower transmission speeds of 9.6Kbps. Some providers, including market leaders AIS and DTAC, are using interim 2.5G technologies to boost transmission speeds to 57.6Kbps or up to 115Kbps.

Faster speeds are needed to cope with the growing popularity of multimedia applications, including mobile Internet and video applications.

Huawei currently is installing 1,600 base stations in 51 provinces for CAT under a 7.2-billion-baht CDMA network expansion program. The entire network is scheduled to be ready by January 2007.

The Huawei installation uses cdma2000 1X and 1X EVDO technology.

c 2006 Bangkok Post

c 2006 Dialog, a Thomson business. All rights reserved

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