Five prospective strategic telecoms partners for Thai state-owned operator TOT have submitted their second-round proposals – Advanced Info Service (AIS), True Corp, Loxley, Samart Corp and start-up company Mobile LTE – in a process expected to be completed by August, The Nation newspaper reports. TOT board spokesman Nattawut Amornvivat disclosed that the appointed adviser, Deloitte, had started the selection process and would recommend at least one of the five companies. TOT could choose more than one strategic partner since it has identified six core business focus areas: telecom infrastructure; telecom towers; international gateways and submarine cables; mobile service; fixed line telephony and broadband internet service; and information technology services.
Thai mobile market leader AIS is interested in five businesses with TOT – mobile, towers, other infrastructure, international gateways and fixed broadband – while quadruple-play operator True’s proposal covers six businesses, including internet/data services. New entrant Mobile LTE has proposed operating as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) on TOT’s 2100MHz 3G network whilst investing in a 4G network for TOT under a joint ownership scheme, also proposing a tie-up with AIS to develop the mobile business. Domestic groups Samart and Loxley are both existing partners with TOT, in the MVNO and infrastructure segments.