Four mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) that use CAT Telecom’s network have formed an alliance in an attempt to strengthen their bargaining power when negotiating with Thai authorities.
The Thailand MVNO Club – which comprises I-Mobile Plus, a subsidiary of Samart, The WhiteSpace, 168 Communication and Myworld 3G — also aims to reduce operating expenses by sharing back-office systems, the Bangkok Post reported.
Watchai Vilailuck, chairman of the club and president of Samart, told the Post that an MVNO is a viable business model because it requires relatively low investment for service rollout. “MVNOs will not compete directly with the three major mobile operators. Instead, we are targeting customers in those untapped segments of the market.”
Samart has 300,000 subscribers on state-owned TOT’s 2.1GHz network and will launch service on CAT’s 850MHz network next month.
Chaiyod Chirabowornkul, chief executive of The WhiteSpace and secretary of the club, noted that while more than 20 companies have MVNO licences from the regulator, only a few can survive, the Post said.
In addition to the four companies that will use CAT’s 850MHz network, the state-owned firm plans to partner with three more MVNOs by the end of 2016, including hypermarket Tesco Lotus.