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True Group approaches NBTC to extend 2G service


TRUE Group yesterday petitioned the National Broadcasting and Telecommuni-cations Commission for a revision of the order to cut off second-generation cellular service on the 1800-megahertz spectrum at midnight yesterday.

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True Move H Universal Communication, a subsidiary of True Corp also paid Bt19.9 billion to the NBTC as the first instalment for its 4G- 1800MHz licence.
The payment was half of the company’s total bid at the recent telecom-licence auction.
Two bank guarantees will be incorporated in the second and third instalments at an auspicious time.
Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the NBTC, said a True Move executive had explained that the company did not place the bank guarantees yet because it is waiting for a fortune-teller to tell it the proper time to get the licence.
Each bid winner has to pay the first instalment within 90 days of the auction, accounting for 50 per cent of the bid. Bank guarantees must be arranged for the second and third instalments.

Urgent meeting
In its petition to the NBTC, True Move insisted that it would continue its 2G-1800MHz service to avoid inconveniencing its 43,000 remaining customers who have yet to migrate to another network.
The NBTC telecom committee will hold an urgent meeting today to consider True Move’s proposal.
The 2G-1800MHz concessions expired in 2013, but the NBTC later permitted the operators to continue serving customers until the chief of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) makes a decision on the issue or the 4G-1800MHz bid winners obtain their licences.
The company argued that the NBTC should wait for the NCPO’s decision and consider cutting off the service on a case-by-case basis.
Since the company has yet to receive the licence to operate a 4G service on 1800MHz, it claims it still has the right to operate the 2G service.
Yesterday, an Advanced Info Service (AIS) official picked up a 4G-1800MHz licence from the NBTC after paying its first instalment of Bt20.49 billion.
It also placed a bank guarantee for the second and third instalments, both Bt10.25 billion.
Somchai Lertsutiwong, chief executive officer of AIS, said company’s board would hold a meeting next Thursday to consider the budget plan for the new investment and the trial launch date of 4G services.
He declined to discuss the trial launch date but AIS will start to switch on the 4G services on December 18.
AIS’s new investment will mainly focus on 1,800MHz base stations, since it has already completed installing 120,000 kilometres of its fibre-optic network nationwide to support the services.

Published : November 25, 2015

By : USANEE MONGKOLPORN THE NATION