Three Thai firms have made proposals to launch 3G mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) services once state-run telco TOT upgrades the Bangkok GSM network of its subsidiary Thai Mobile to W-CDMA/HSPA technology. The Nation newspaper quotes TOT president Varut Suvakorn naming two of the three companies, Samart Corp and 365 Communications. Technology group Samart’s existing business areas include an ISP, mobile accessories retailer and mobile content division, whilst 365 Communications was reportedly founded by a group of experts in e-banking led by Surin Ritteephamorn, vice president for e-business of consumer finance provider Krungthai Card. TOT aims to launch retail and wholesale 3G services in December, whilst it was previously reported that the country’s existing privately-owned cellular operators, AIS, DTAC and True Move, had agreed in principle to purchase wholesale capacity on TOT’s new 3G network to augment their own efforts to roll out next generation services ahead of UMTS licensing, expected by early 2010.
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