Tag: thailand

CPIT registered as Consultant by the Ministry of Finance

Earlier this year, Thailand’s Ministry of Finance accepted CPIT application for registration as a Consulting Business in their Thai Consultant Database Center.

The purpose of this database is to gather information about companies offering consulting services in Thailand and provide support and promotion in order to create opportunities to businesses in the country.

To be registered, a company has to fulfill several criteria ensuring its ability to provide the service advertised; notably the presence of experienced consultants as well as a portfolio of completed and successful projects.

CPIT was granted “type A” in Telecommunication, which acknowledges the quality of the company’s resources, experience and accomplishments as consultant in this field

In addition, this registration allows CPIT to undertake consulting work for any government agency or state-owned enterprise in Thailand.

This database is available at http://www.thaiconsult.pdmo.go.th

CPIT Website: http://www.cpit-services.com


Thai operators make their move towards 3G

The last week of January has seen much activity in Thailand around 3G and its deployment.

True Move, the country’s third-largest mobile phone operator, and state-owned CAT Telecom signed a deal on Thursday morning to handover Hutch-CAT JV CDMA network (by Real Move) and to upgrade it into a 3G HSPA network (by Real Future).
Under that deal, True Move will install HSPA equipments in 1,400 base stations in 25 provinces and then allow CAT Telecom to lease the network.

The dates for the 3G licenses auctions on 2.1GHz band being still unkown, this deal will help both operators to be a step ahead their competitors in the upcoming race for 3G deployment.

TOT 3GMeanwhile, the auction for a 17-billion Bahts (600 million USD) nationwide expansion of TOT 3G network has been the scene of a legal battle. 2 bidders, ZTE – a consortium of ZTE and Forth Corporation – and the Ericsson-A.S. Associate Engineering consortium were ruled out during the screening process. They appealed against TOT’s decision but Thursday 27th evening, on the E-auction eve, the Administrative Court rejected the case.

Finally, on Friday 28th, the SL Consortium of Loxley, Samart, Nokia Siemens Networks, and Huawei Technologies won the E-auction with a final price of approximately 16 billion Bahts. SL Consortium outbid the AU Consortium which consists of Advanced Information Technology, Alcatel-Lucent (Thailand) and United Communication Industry.

TOT plans to launch the 3G network through its MVNOs in major Thai provinces in April.

Thai Operators on their way to national 3G despite delays in the licenses auctioning

The end of 2010 has been marked by several strategic moves by Thai operators meant to let them provide 3G services nationwide even before the disputes over the 3G license auctions are settled.

True Move was already providing 3G in test areas, mostly in central Bangkok, on the 850MHz band thanks to an agreement with the state-owned operator CAT who owns the licenses for this band. They managed to extend these test areas to other touristic hotspots such as Hua Hin, however this could hardly have been qualified as a nationwide coverage.
By announcing officially on the 30th of December that they finalized a deal with Hutchinson, True showed clearly they did not intend to wait for the 2.1GHz band license for extending their network.
True, in a statement to the Stock Exchange of Thailand, said its subsidiary Real Move would purchase a 92.5 per cent stake in Hutchison Wireless Multimedia for 4.35 billion baht. Real Move will also acquire holding company BKFT (Thailand), giving True control of three other firms – Hutchison Multimedia Services (Thailand), Hutchison Telecommunications (Thailand) and Hutchison CAT Wireless Multimedia, a joint venture with CAT Telecom, provides mobile phone services to some 600,000 subscribers in 25 provinces using CDMA technology.
This purchase will allow True to provide access to Hutchinson-CAT 3G network to its customer, taking the lead in the race to rollout of 3G services in Thailand.

One of True main competitors petitioned the government to intervene in what it described as unfair treatment by CAT and was allowed to construct 1220 more cell sites to extend the 3G trials on 850MHz they were conducting with a mere 36 cells. CAT has also said that next month it will propose to the panel granting telecoms concessions that DTAC be allowed to offer 3G services commercially.
In this race to 3G the loser seems to be the third major operator, AIS (Advanced Info Service) who did not find a way yet to provide 3G services to its customer until the long expected 2.1GHz license auctions now planned for some time in 2011.

Thailand Operators rethink their 3G Strategy

After the cancelation of the 3G licenses auctions few weeks ago, Thailand Operators are revising their plans for 3G deployment.

CAT Telecom is considering a U-turn in its mobile strategy, focusing on upgrading its own network to provide fast 3G service, because its attempt to take over the Hutch network, in which it is a partner, has been stalled.
The state telecom enterprise now wants to invest as much as 3.2 billion baht to upgrade the CDMA mobile network it operates in 51 provinces to high-speed downlink packet access technology, said a CAT board member who asked not to be named. CAT would use roaming service with other operators for areas in which it had no network infrastructure, he added.
The alternative upgrade plan is seen as more reliable and easier to manage in terms of CAT’s business development strategy. It would also speed up 3G technology development to take advantage of the vacuum created by the delay in 3G licence auctions.
CAT president Jirayuth Rungsrithong says he still supports the takeover plan as it would immediately add the 700,000 Hutch subscribers to the CAT network and generate 4 billion baht in revenue per year, compared with 800 million baht a year CAT earns from a revenue-sharing deal for Hutch.

In a related development, Wichian Mektrakarn, the chief executive of AIS, said the mobile market leader was prepared to become a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) for both TOT and CAT to provide 3G service in a complementary approach to its existing 2G services.

Additionally, Suroj Lamsam, senior executive vice-president of Loxley Plc, said his company also wanted to be an MVNO for CAT in order to maximise the utilisation of its facilities. Loxley is already an MVNO for 3G services on behalf of TOT.

Finally, TOT is preparing to sign data roaming and mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) agreements with the three operators at the same time and under the same terms for all. The three operators want to see a speedy agreement on TOT’s 3G network, but TOT is taking its time to study the impact a move will have on the five existing MVNO operators.
He said private operators were interested in data roaming and 3G service in the capital, but TOT’s 3G network only had capacity for 500,000 numbers. Previous roaming agreements were bilateral and allowed for voice roaming.

source: Bangkok Post

Thai Government revives telecom pool plan

From The Bangkok Post

The government has revived a “pool” concept to further develop telecommunications after the collapse of the 3G auction plan last week.

The concept floated three years ago by the Surayud government envisions a single national network handling call traffic from private operators who would manage marketing and customer services. ICT Minister Juti Krairiksh said when he took office in June he would check on the plan. The government has now resurrected the proposal and dubbed it the “national broadband project”, appointing Mr Juti’s deputy, Trairong Suwannakhiri, to oversee its implementation.

The government plans to submit the proposal to the cabinet for consideration on Oct 12.

The idea has drawn a mixed reaction from operators and telecom experts. Sittichai Pookaiyaudom supported the telecom pool idea when he was ICT minister in the Surayud government in 2007. He said state telecom agency TOT Plc should serve as a network provider for the industry. All state enterprises with telecom networks should then be combined into “one single network” to serve as a national telecom highway to be leased to private companies.
But Mr Sittichai conceded the plan would be almost impossible now given the many state agencies and the different laws and ministerial authority. TOT and CAT Telecom also hold concessions with private companies. They would need mutual agreements to carry out any such activities.
Mr Sittichai said the ICT Ministry should draft a new law to govern the project to simplify the process.

Advanced Info Service CEO Wichian Mektrakarn agreed with the idea to establish a telecom pool as it would pave the way to eliminating redundant investments in network infrastructure. But he said the state must set up at least two Stock Exchange of Thailand-listed companies to operate and manage the telecom pool services to prevent monopoly problems from arising.

The Finance Ministry should hold no more than 49% in the two entities with the rest being held by private mobile operators together with other state enterprises such as the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand. State enterprises would bring their assets and turn them into equity in the new companies.

An independent selection committee should be set up to choose qualified executives to manage the two companies. A service level agreement, a contract between network service providers and customers, should then be drafted to specify the service terms.

Suphachai Chearavanont, president and chief executive of True Corp, said the telecom pool model was a good idea as it could lower industry costs and encourage free market competition.

Pooling could include the sharing of infrastructure such as transmission towers or excess fibre optic wiring, where operators in need of higher capacity would draw on pooled resources. Or pooling could refer to network systems in active use, where operators share in backbone infrastructure. Pooling might also be done at the “last mile”, a reference to infrastructure tying homes and offices to the main networks.
It would require endorsement from the National Telecommunications Commission, which means the state would need to withdraw the court case on the NTC’s authority to move the project forward.

“This is still a chicken and egg question,” Mr Suphachai said.

Anuparp Thiralarp, an independent telecom expert, said a single national broadband network was a good idea but “just a dream”.

Implementation of the project would be difficult as it required cooperation from state enterprises under different departments and ministries.

Meanwhile, TOT plans to resubmit its 3G investment plan to the cabinet today.

Thailand: Only three 3G bidders

From The Bangkok Post

Bangkok Post

No surprises as foreign firms stay away

Published: 31/08/2010 at 12:09 AM
Online news: Local News

Thailand’s 3G mobile phone services inched closer to reality Monday when the three leading mobile operators submitted bid documents for the licence auction scheduled for Sept 20.

Monday was the deadline the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) set for all interested firms to submit their bidding documents with the required 500,000 baht 3G processing fee and 1.28 billion baht bank guarantee as a deposit.

A DTAC executive submits a 1.28-billion-baht cheque to NTC officials as required as a bank guarantee of 10% of the reserve bid price for a 3G licence. As predicted, the three existing private 2G mobile operators – Advanced Info Service (AIS), DTAC and True Move – were the only bidders without international competition. (Photo by Surapol Promsaka Na Sakolnakorn)

Win Win NGV submitted their documents as a fourth firm, but was disqualified when it failed to include the 1.28 billion baht deposit and letter of intent.

As predicted, the three existing private 2G mobile operators – Advanced Info Service (AIS), DTAC and True Move – were the only bidders without international competition. The absence of an international bidder is likely to ensure the bidding will be conservative and winning bids lower than expected. AIS subsidiary Advance Wireless Network was the first to submit, followed by DTAC Internet Service and Real Move, a subsidiary of True Move. AIS placed a bank guarantee with Bangkok Bank, while DTAC used HSBC Bank and Real Move posted Siam Commercial Bank for its bank guarantee.

Win Win NGV is a Thai-owned importer and assembler of NGV-equipped vehicles. It belongs to the children of Prasit Pothasuthon, a senator for Suphanburi province and chairman of the Senate Committee for Science, Technology, Communications and Telecommunications. Mr Prasit is a strong opponent of the NTC’s 3G auction, accusing it of offering too low a starting price. He suggested a possible price of 330 billion baht after earlier studies by a research organisation.

Mr Prasit even asked the National Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate alleged irregularities in handling the 3G auction. But Mr Prasit’s son, Yuthana Pothasuthon, an adviser for Win Win, said his company had no intention of becoming a nominee for anyone as speculated. “We truly want to enter the 3G auction as we expect the business will create a new revenue stream and make a profit.” He did not elaborate on business plans or prospective partners.  “We have no intention of making any problems for the auction or the NTC,” said Mr Yuthana. He said he misunderstood that the bank guarantee and letter of intent could be submitted to the NTC two or three days after the deadline.

Meanwhile Samart I-Mobile scrapped its plan to bid, saying it wanted to focus on strengthening existing mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service for TOT Plc. The handset flagship distributor of Samart Corp said its decision was based on a study that concluded 3G investment was not worth the high investment cost and risks required.

The three potential bidders now have to be screened to see if they meet the licence criteria. The NTC plans to announce the list of qualified bidders for the auction on Sept 15.

The NTC will auction three licences with a reserve bid price of 12.8 billion baht. Each licence features a 15-year term with a 15-MHz bandwidth. It plans to spend 50 million baht to hold the auction on Sept 20 in Hua Hin broadcast on satellite TV.

Col Natee Sukonrat, an NTC commissioner, said it will use an N-1 approach, meaning the number of licences will equal the number of bidders minus one. This approach is to ensure higher competition and potentially raise prices. A second auction is planned for remaining licences 90 days after the close of the first auction. The starting bid would be the wining price of the first auction. Col Natee said he believed foreign companies would participate in the second auction and were waiting to see a transparent first auction prior to participation.

Anuparb Thiralarp, an independent telecom expert, said the absence of foreign participation in the 3G auction came as no surprise, given the confusion over many aspects of the bidding terms and lack of clarity about pricing and foreign shareholding regulations.

5 bidders expected in Thai 3G auction

Five companies bought bid documents for the 3G license auction when the National Telecommunications Commission opened the sale of bid documents. The NTC plans to hold the auction of licenses for 3G services in the fourth week of September.

AIS, DTAC and True Corp, the three main mobile operators of Thailand have bought bid documents for the 3G auction. The other two applicants are Samart and Loxley, who currently operate as MVNO under TOT.

The auctioning process has been regularly delayed and some problems are still to be solved. The starting bidding price for a 15-year license is set at THB12.8 billion (US$402.9 million). In addition, operators will have to follow strict regulations about foreign involvement in the companies, redistribution of the revenue and network capacity.

The auction could face further delays because the terms of three NTC members will expire next month and the regulator might be replaced by the new National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission. This could potentially leave the process open to legal challenge.