Thailand’s largest operator, AIS, has resurrected plans to launch as a 3G MVNO on state-owned TOT’s network following the cancellation of the country’s 3G auctions last week. The move is seen as another victory for TOT, which, along with another state-owned-firm – CAT Telecom – managed to halt the 3G auction process in the courts
Thailand’s telecoms regulator said yesterday that the country’s two largest operators will be allowed to submit bids for 3G licenses despite the fact that ownership structures could be in breach of the auction’s foreign ownership rules.
The board of Thai state-run telco TOT has told the country’s mobile market leader AIS to wait four to six months before beginning the proposed data roaming service on the state enterprise’s 2100MHz 3G network to give its contracted MVNOs some marketing leeway.
Thai operator AIS, the country’s largest by subscribers, has set an investment budget, excluding any potential investment in third generation services, for 2010 of about THB11 billion (US$335.3 million), which is on a par with 2009’s amount, according to Dow Jones Newswires.