Thailand’s TAC To Launch 3G Early In 2009

Thailand‘s Total Access Communication PCL  said on Tuesday it expected to launch a third
generation (3G) mobile service in the first quarter of 2009, which should
generate revenue in 2010.
    The initial
launch of the high-speed broadband Internet would be in the capital, Bangkok, and TAC planned
to launch in cities such as Chiang Mai in the north and Phuket in the south
after that, chief executive Sigve Brekke told reporters.
    “In
the first year of the launch, we don’t expect much revenue. The first year
should be for positioning as technology leader in the market,” he said.
    The
country’s second-largest mobile phone operator, which got the go-ahead to
import 3G equipment from the Thai regulator last week, will select a telecoms
equipment vendor in the next 4-5 weeks to supply gear for the first phase worth
1.1-1.2 billion baht ($32-35 million), Brekke said.
    Among the
equipment makers are Nokia Siemens Networks , Ericsson and China‘s Huawei
Technologies, chief operating officer Thana Thienachariya said.
    TAC, controlled
by Norway‘s
Telenor, planned to spend 5 billion baht to upgrade the 3G services on its
existing 850 MHz frequency as part of its move to tap new revenue in a nearly
saturated sector.
    TAC, which
cut its 2008 revenue growth forecast to 5 percent due to weak consumer
confidence after reporting second-quarter earnings in July, would try to beat
the new target by attracting more users in rural areas and new promotions, he
said.
    TAC
launched a marketing campaign this week in which new clients will earn 0.50
baht per minute when receiving calls from customers of rival networks, a move
that should encourage more mobile use, he said.

 

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