[bangkok post] Advanced Info Service will begin cutting its network connection with TOT's mobile network on Feb 8 after submitting a formal notification yesterday.
The move is in response to TOT's delay to a deal over 3G data roaming, says AIS chief executive Wichian Mektrakarn.
Under the roaming agreement signed between AIS and TOT in 2004, AIS allowed Thai Mobile, a mobile phone subsidiary of TOT, to connect its customers' voice traffic to AIS's nationwide network. In return, TOT agreed to give AIS priority for business co-operation if TOT upgraded its network to 3G.
The disconnection of the roaming service is within the context of the agreement, which specifies that any disconnection has to be notified seven days before it becomes effective.
AIS decided to cut off the connection after talks with the TOT board. TOT has put off offering AIS's data roaming for TOT's 3G network customers for four to six months to reduce competition for TOT's five mobile virtual network operators, Mr Wichian said.
AIS had earlier scheduled data roaming to begin yesterday, he added.
In his view, AIS has abided strictly by the roaming agreement but TOT has not.
The disconnection will be effective from Feb 8, Mr Wichian said.
He insisted that AIS still wanted to be a good business ally with TOT. AIS executives are discussing the issue with TOT executives to try to resolve the problem, he added.
"If they [the talks] succeed, anything could change. But if TOT still wants us to delay data roaming for another four to six months, we have no choice but to cut off the link," he said.
Mr Wichian said AIS had assisted TOT consistently so that TOT could start its 3G services on Dec 3 last year smoothly, because it sees itself as under TOT's concession and hopes for future collaboration.
Last week, AIS officially notified the National Telecommunications Commission that it wants to conduct data roaming with TOT's 3G network, he said.
AIS prepares to sever TOT connection