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Thai telecoms to enter 3G epoch

11 сентября 2009

Thailand’s telecoms regulator on Wednesday published plans to hold the long-stalled auctions for 3G phone service licences by the end of the year.

The decision by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to invite bids for four licences could mean that 3G services would be available by the second half of next year.

It is expected the licences will be issued early in 2010.

Thailand’s leading three mobile phone operators are Advanced Info Service (AIS), Total Access Communication (DTAC) and True Move.

Their shares all enjoyed gains in recent weeks as optimism intensified that the logjam to issue the licences was about to be broken.

Telecoms operators will take about six months to get the networks up and running once they get their licences.

By the draft plan approved by the NTC board on Wednesday, four licences will be issued, one with 15 MHz bandwidth and three of 10 MHz, said Prasert Apipunya, the commission’s deputy secretary-general.

The licences – delayed for several years by policy changes and by political wrangling – are seen as vital to reform Thailand’s saturated mobile telecoms sector, which is estimated to be worth $4.7bn.

Analysts say the new framework will save the operators substantial sums. The operators will also be able to tap into fresh revenue streams by providing video, picture, music and data services.

Источник: Financial Times

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