Thai state telcos told to cease cloud, retail services

Don Sambandaraksa
05 Jan 2015
00:00

Thailand’s state enterprise super board chaired by junta leader Prayuth Chanocha has ordered the two state telcos CAT Telecom and TOT Corporation to focus on providing wholesale services and cease cloud and hosting services to cut costs.

The two were ordered to focus on fixed lines, broadband Internet, international Internet gateway, international cables, international phone calls and basic infrastructure.

The two will have to report back within a month whether the telecommunications infrastructure and even their mobile businesses are viable or not.

Meanwhile, vultures are already circling TOT looking at its 15-MHz slice of 2.1-GHz spectrum for 4G LTE services.

Chief of these is AIS-affiliated LTE Mobile which is understood to have offered TOT a MVNE type deal to take on its crumbling 3G network, roll out 4G and provide services back to TOT.

A source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Mobile LTE would offer TOT 25% shares in the company (registered capital of $3.03 million or 100 million baht) and a further $76 million (2.5 billion baht) per annum.

“It is not an MVNO. It is a takeover bid [of TOT] by Mobile LTE.

“The biggest sign of this being a cover-up deal to gain control of TOT is that they mention they aim for 12-15 million subscribers – that is not an MVNO, that is a mobile network operator,” the source said.

TOT’s 3G network, the first to launch commercially in Thailand in December 2009, has not been maintained and cell sites are failing without being fixed.

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