MVNOs using the 3G network of Thai state-owned operator TOT have hit out at the decision to allow Advanced Info Service (AIS) – the country’s largest mobile operator – onto the network. According to Telegeography, which cites a Bangkok Post report, AIS is to begin offering its users 2100MHz WCDMA/HSPA services using TOT’s spectrum from 1 February. But existing MVNOs such as Loxley, Samart I-Mobile, 365 Communications, IEC International and M Consultant Corp, say the deal could breach their agreements with TOT. “We will immediately end our services if TOT allows AIS to join,” said one MVNO source. However, Vichian Narkseenuan, senior executive vice-president and head of the TOT 3G project, said the proposed 1 February launch date was unrealistic. He cautioned that no firm decisions had yet been reached on the proposed cooperation between TOT and AIS, which would be just for a “trial period.”

Currently, AIS can only offer limited 3G services using 900MHz spectrum as it continues to wait for the long-delayed 3G auctions in Thailand to take place. It is understood that it could enter a potential infrastructure or revenue-sharing agreement with TOT if the auction continues to be delayed. It was hoped that the auctions will take place in the current quarter but the process continues to be dogged by problems. Dow Jones Newswires reports today that further delays are likely due to the appointments of four new nominees at the National Telecommunications Commission, the Thai regulator overseeing the auction.