Thailand’s state-owned CAT Telecom and dtac have agreed to set up two joint ventures to share network assets via separate tower and fibre units.
Tower JV Co and Fibre JV Co, both 51:49 ventures, are expected to be established this year and start operations in 2016, the Bangkok Post reported.
The two firms signed a memorandum of understanding last December to explore network sharing arrangements.
Once approved by the cabinet, the partnership will end the 15 existing legal disputes between the two operators. But first an operating plan needs to be passed by the State Enterprises Policy Commission and the Information and Communication Technology Ministry.
Dtac, the country’s second largest operator with a 29 per cent market share, reportedly has agreed to transfer its existing 13,000 towers and transmission/fibre cables to CAT three years ahead of the end of its concession with CAT.
Dtac will need to pay for its 51 per cent share, while CAT does not need to pay for its 49 per cent stake, the Post said. Dtac also will be required to pay a network rental fee to CAT.
The two ventures will also be able to rent services to other mobile operators.
The government announced in December plans to set up a national backbone holding company to own and operate all of the country’s fibre and tower assets. The aim is to reduce redundant investments and possibly lower broadband fees for consumers.