TOT, TrueMove tease 3G growth plans

Dylan Bushell-Embling
15 Dec 2011
Daily News

Thailand's TOT and TrueMove H have both lifted the lid on plans aimed at growing their respective 3G businesses.

State-owned TOT has revealed plans to add 15,000 more base stations to its 3G network, so long as it meets its initial goal of deploying the first 5,200 BTS by next May, Bangkok Post reported.

The plan - which still requires board approval - would have TOT auction the tender to deploy the BTS sites, and hand the deal to the lowest bidder.

TOT's chairman told the Post that the initial plan of only deploying 5,200 base stations has “raised eyebrows about whether it is enough to guarantee that TOT will survive in business.”

The operator was forced to postpone plans to commence 3G services on the 2.1-GHz band in late November, because Thailand's recent severe and protracted flooding has delayed construction of the initial base stations.

TOT is currently Thailand's only operator with a license to operate 3G services on the 2.1-GHz band.

Separately, TrueMove H - the 3G arm of private operator TrueMove – has revealed it plans to leverage lower-cost smartphones to help meet its target of reaching 1 million subscribers to its HSPA-based 3G network in 2012.

The company will concentrate on offering low-end smartphones priced between 3,000 and 4,000 baht ($95-$125) and mid-range phones costing between 9,000 and 15,000 baht.

TrueMove H also aims to grow its smartphone sales for 2012 to 7 billion baht, from a projected 6 billion baht in 2011.

The operator, which aims to reach 300,000 customers by the end of the year, has Thailand's most developed 3G network.

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