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3G service to be launched in Thailand early 2011

The process of 3G auction under the responsibility of the National Telecommunication Commission of Thailand (NTC) has been rescheduled many times due to some complications in details of the bidding conditions and its prices.

Boris Sullivan

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3G mobiles iphone smartphones

The CAT Telecom state enterprise has decided not to wait for a 3G auction to be announced by the National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) but to expedite its plan to provide high-speed 3G telephone network nationwide which is likely to be completed at the beginning of next year.

Mr Jirayut Rungsrithong, CEO of CAT, disclosed that the CAT Telecom has been permitted by the Cabinet to take over Hutch CDMA network system worth 7.5 billion THB. This is aimed to expand its 3G service coverage and connect Hutch CDMA with that of CAT. CAT’s 3G network service has already covered 51 provinces of Thailand whereas Hutch CDMA network covers 25 central provinces.

CAT has also planned to integrate CAT CDMA with that of Hutch, and to upgrade the speed for both systems via 3G network service in 25 other provinces this July onwards, making the 3G service signaling to cover all the 76 provinces. However, 3G CDMA will be ready for full service nationwide by the beginning of 2011.

The process of 3G auction under the responsibility of the National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) has been rescheduled many times due to some complications in details of the bidding conditions and its prices.

Reporter : Boonsong Lipimas

via 3G service to be completely launched nationwide early next year : National News Bureau of Thailand.

As long as Thailand lags behind its neighbours in issuing 3G broadband network licences, Thais will lose out on opportunities in exploring the services such as e-books and remote health monitoring.

Thailand is the last remaining country in the Asean group without 3G services, with Vietnam and Laos finally receiving licences this year.

3G mobiles iphone smartphones

Both regulators and state and private telecom executives are dumbfounded by economic ministers’ decision on Wednesday to put brakes on the 3G auction process and TOT Plc’s 3G plan.

Handset manufacturers and software providers are all champing at the bit in carving out market share for projected mobile apps sales to reach $17bn by 2012. The global appetite for mobile apps will explode over this decade, but what about mobile SEO?

Taking this to heart, Apple this month sued Taiwan’s HTC Corp, the maker of touchscreen smartphones using Google software, accusing it of twenty hardware and software patents infringements related to the iPhone.

As if to make matters worse for Mr Jobs, a recent article in TechCrunch confirmed his fears: “I’ve been using the Nexus One with TMobile since mid-December as my primary mobile phone. This is the best Android-powered phone to date. It’s also the fastest and most elegant smartphone on the market today, solidly beating the iPhone in most ways. In this rapidly evolving market there is sure to be something better just around the corner. But if you are looking to buy a high-end smartphone right now, this is the phone for you.”

Mobile phones and iPhone 3G are available since nearly a year in Thailand, but the implementation of the third generation network, has been considerably delayed. Bureaucracy and pressure from the public operator TOT have managed to block the allocation of frequencies, once again postponed to spring 2010.

The mobile business is a highly political issue in Thailand because it is the mobile phone concession awarded to AIS (subsidiary of the holding company Shin Corp), who allowed Thaksin to make a fortune in a record time and subsequently become the most popular politician of the kingdom’s history. It is also the resale of Shin Corp to Singapore’s Temasek fund that was largely responsible for his downfall.

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