[wireless federation] Thailand’s mobile market leader Advanced Info Service (AIS) will have to wait for another four to six months before beginning the proposed data roaming service on the state enterprise’s 2100MHz 3G networks.
The decision has been taken by the board of Thai state-run telco TOT in order to give its contracted mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) some marketing leeway. AIS, operating as a small-scale 3G network using 900MHz frequency have been proposed to offer its users 3G data roaming on TOT’s 2100MHz network today for a trial period.
However, TOT has faced an outcry from the five MVNOs – Loxley, Samart I-Mobile, 365 Communication, IEC International and M Consultant Corporation, who are committed to reselling services over the TOT 3G networks which launched in Bangkok in December 2009.
According to AIS chief executive Wichian Mektrakarn, Shin Corp-owned cellco had told TOT that it would cease the voice roaming service pending consultation with the National Telecoms Commission (NTC), in addition to suspending a pricing agreement with TOT under which the latter’s customers are charged THB0.60 (USD0.018) a minute for roaming instead of THB1.10.
MVNO’s protest delays AIS and TOT 3G tie-ups