TrueMove aims to complete an 850-MHz 3G network deal with CAT Telecom in 1Q13, before turning its attention to seeking another partner with which to launch a 3G network in the 2.1-GHz band.
Supachai Cheravanont, chief executive of True Corporation, told reporters the firm is seeking a strategic partner to take on 25% of its shares now the firm has secured a 3G operating license. The firm aims to form the partnership and launch services in the second quarter of 2013.
The launch target appears heavily motivated by the pending end of TrueMove’s current 2G license, which expires in September 2013.
TrueMove’s deal with CAT will supply it with a network capable of handling seven million to eight million subscribers. Funding for the 2.1-GHz network will be drawn from a 15 billion Baht ($490 million) investment by parent True Corporation, which forms part of a total 26.5 billion Baht investment by the group in its telecom operations. The remainder will be split between TrueOnline (10 billion Baht) and the TrueVisions pay TV service (1.5 billion Baht).
The group expects to end 2012 with 20 million TrueMove mobile users, 1.8 million TrueVision subscribers and 1.6 million fixed line broadband subscribers. For 2013, the targets are 26 million, 3.5 million and 1.9 million, respectively. HDTV is one key reason for the projected uptake of pay TV services.