Connect with us

Phuket

Phuket Live Wire: 3G wars start heating up

Published

 on 

PHUKET: BANGKOK’S two big English-language newspapers have different takes on the topic, but it’s clear at this point that the 1-2-Call mobile phone company Advanced Information Systems (AIS) and Thai telecommunications services and hardware giant Samart are both going to try to match up with TOT to deliver High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) “3G” service to Thailand, and possibly Phuket.

The Nation reports that Samart has set aside 500 million baht to roll out an HSPA network using TOT’s towers and frequencies, if it can seal a deal with TOT, that is. The Nation also says that AIS is interested in offering HSPA service through TOT, so there’s competition between the two.

This has raised some problems in the form of the potential for favoritism, because current Prime Minister-designate Yingluck Shinawatra is the past president of AIS, which was once owned by a rather well-known former Prime Minister: her big brother Thaksin.

The other newspaper reports that AIS and Samart are both in the running to acquire parts of TOT’s spectrum. Both newspapers appear to agree that TOT will divvy up its spectrum into (at least) three parts, comprising 40 per cent, 40 per cent and 20 per cent of its bandwidth.

One or both of the big slices of the pie will be made available to large organizations – AIS and Samart certainly among the contenders – while the small piece will go to a hodge-podge of 3G SIM card sales outfits associated with smaller organizations.

How can they do that, you ask, when the Thai government hasn’t yet auctioned off the 3G spectrum? Good question. The convoluted answer basically boils down to this: CAT’s already subletting its frequencies to True for HSPA service. Why shouldn’t TOT sublet its frequencies?

Both CAT and TOT appear to have long-standing approval to offer HSPA 3G services through other companies on the frequencies they already control. They’re both hell-bent on getting the service out right now, as fast as they can switch the gear on the towers.

CAT and TOT, through True and possibly AIS and/or Samart, all want to get market share nailed down now, before the auctions.

That also raises a ticklish question. Let’s say AIS gets a concession to run 3G on the TOT towers and frequencies. AIS markets the living daylights out of the service and signs up a whole bunch of customers. A month or a year or a decade from now, the Thai government finally gets around to auctioning off the other 3G frequencies. Will AIS bid to get its own network? If AIS wins the bid, will it pull all of its customers over to the new system, leaving TOT high and dry?

The same question applies to True and CAT.

It’s a complex situation, with billions of baht and tens of thousands of jobs hanging in the balance.

Stay tuned. This is going to get interesting, and we consumers will be the winners.

Live Wire is Phuket Gazette columnist Woody Leonhard’s weekly snapshot of all things internet in Phuket. Follow him on Twitter: @PhuketPC or visit his free computer clinics at Woody’s Sandwich Shoppes.

To see what Woody’s up to in the international press, and to keep on top of the latest patches and problems with Windows and Office, drop by AskWoody.com.

The Nation is the Phuket Gazette’s partner newspaper, and printer and distribution agent for the Gazette’s Nationwide edition.

— Woody Leonhard

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand34 mins ago

Thailand News Today | 36 dead in a mass shooting at a nursery in northeast Thailand

Guides40 mins ago

5 best wine bars in Bangkok offering rich and quality wine

North East43 mins ago

Hip businesses in northeast Thai province offer tasty food and fun experiences

Sponsored7 hours ago

Segafredo Zanetti Coffee teamed up with Bangkok Airways and hosted “Bangkok Airways Surf Festival 2022”

Crime1 hour ago

British CEO arrested at Bangkok Airport over 40 million baht fraud accusations

Thailand1 hour ago

Thailand’s 5 national parks raise entry fees for foreigners by 100%

Bangkok1 hour ago

Ari around invites Ari people to share good deeds through the app.

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Press Room1 hour ago

Where to order cannabis/weed in Thailand

Chon Buri2 hours ago

Trouserless Chon Buri man crashes car into power pole

Entertainment2 hours ago

‘The Trapped 13’ lets Wild Boars speak for themselves

Thailand2 hours ago

Reported Bangkok VIP casino vanishes into thin air

World2 hours ago

Australia sets goal of preventing any more species from going extinct

Crime2 hours ago

Mass shooting in Thailand: 36 dead, including 24 children, 12 injured

Thailand2 hours ago

9 Thais arrested in South Korea for smuggling drugs

Drugs2 hours ago

Police snag 2.5 meth pills in checkpoint stings

Thailand3 hours ago

Nong Bua Lamphu Hospital needs urgent blood donations after mass shooting

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending