Coinciding with TOT’s launch of an expanded 3G 2100MHz mobile service across Thailand last week, the state-run telco and its sister company CAT Telecom signed a network roaming agreement allowing up to 400,000 3G voice/data roaming users on each of their respective networks, with an interconnection charge of THB0.50 (USD0.0166) per minute, the Bangkok Post reports. TOT currently has less than 300,000 3G subscribers on its 2100MHz network in the Bangkok area via five mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) but last week expanded the service to over 4,000 base stations in provinces across the country, and will reach 5,000 cell sites in April. CAT’s 850MHz 3G retail service under the ‘My’ brand is offered over the 10,000-plus W-CDMA/HSPA base station network shared with private sector partner True Move H (which is expanding the 850MHz network to 13,000 base stations this year), although CAT only recently announced that it was resuming the commercial marketing of My services, following suspension of activities due to a legal inquiry into the True-CAT partnership and a re-evaluation of the state firm’s business plan. No recent My user figures have been released, but the total is assumed to be low. TeleGeography adds that CAT’s CDMA2000-based 2G/3G provincial network will be shut down on 26 April 2013, with the firm hoping to migrate the 100,000 or so remaining users to HSPA-based services.
TOT also has a network roaming agreement in place with AIS catering for one million mobile users, with the same agreed interconnection rate as the new deal with CAT.