State-run CAT Telecom’s CEO Kitisak Sriprasert has disclosed that ‘at least five’ companies have requested to operate as 3G mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) using CAT’s 850MHz frequencies, reports Thai newspaper The Nation. Two retailers, Tesco Lotus and the Central group, are the latest to have approached CAT, joining handset distributors 365 Communication and M Link, and an unnamed insurance firm. According to Kitisak, deals with 365 Communications and M Link are expected to be finalised this year; 365 Communication (which operates an existing MVNO service over CAT’s state-run sister operator TOT’s 3G network) plans to provide a 3G service in partnership with CAT for up to 300,000 users, and pay CAT THB300 million (USD9.6 million) a year under the proposed terms. Reportedly, 365 has been allocated only 25,000 3G SIM numbers on the TOT network, with around 10,000 active users.
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