THIRTEEN companies have picked up the documents required to make a proposal to be TOT’s partner in providing 4G service on the state agency’s 2.3GHz band, said Rungsun Channarukul, TOT’s senior executive vice president/mobile unit.
TOT made the documents available last Friday, with yesterday as the deadline for picking them up.
Among the 13 companies are Thai telecom operators Advanced Wireless Network, a subsidiary of Advanced Info Service (AIS); DTAC TriNet, a subsidiary of Total Access Communication (DTAC); and TrueMove H Universal Communication and Real Move, both of which are in the True Corp group.
Among the other Thai firms picking up the necessary paperwork were the country’s second satellite licence holder, Mobile LTE, and telecom firm Tantawan Telecommunication.
Mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) WhiteSpace, voice over Internet protocol solution provider Blue Sharp, Hi Media Technology and Good Logic also did so.
Two global telecom network suppliers – Nokia and Ericsson – and Enabling Asia Tech Thailand also collected the documentation.
Some of the 13 businesses are expected to form groups with a view to pitching for the partnership with TOT.
All interested parties will have to submit proposals to TOT on March 27.
The state agency is then expected to take 60 days to select the partner by using the ‘beauty-contest’ method, with the firm or grouping with the best overall technical and commercial proposal being chosen.
TOT holds 60 megahertz of the 2.3GHz spectrum for a term that is due to expire in eight years.
The agency recently announced that it expected to announce the partner in May and sign a partnership deal in the third quarter, with the winner starting installation of the network in the final quarter of the year.
TOT expects the 4G service on 2.3GHz to commence in the fourth quarter.
According to the selection criteria, bidders have to propose investments that would enable the 2.3GHz network to cover 80 per cent of the population within five years.
They must also propose a plan to commit to leasing 60 per cent of the network’s capacity, with TOT using the remaining capacity to provide its own cellular service and allocate spare capacity to MVNOs.
DTAC would appear to have the most serious interest in securing the 2.3GHz partnership with TOT, as it failed to win a licence in the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission’s recent auctions of 1800MHz and 900MHz licences.
DTAC’s concession contract with CAT Telecom to operate mobile service on the 850MHz and 1800MHz spectra expires late next year.