The Information and Communication Technology minister has advised TOT to begin promoting its third-generation mobile phone services to win customers before the 3G auction is called by the National Telecommunications Commission.
The minister, Ranongruk Suwunchwee, said TOT must market its 3G service on the 1.9 GHz spectrum to attract people to the services, which are scheduled to be available on a trial basis next month in limited areas of Bangkok.
But both TOT and CAT Telecom must also speed up evaluating the threat from competition if the NTC holds the 3G auction – particularly the impact on concession revenues, which will drop significantly if 3G licences are issued.
TOT gains 30 billion baht a year in concession revenues from private operators. Those revenues are expected to drop to only 15 billion baht, and TOT needs to speed up promoting its 3G services, she said.
The cabinet has given the go-ahead for TOT to spend about 20 billion baht to roll out 3G services on the 1.9 GHz spectrum.
CAT Telecom president Jirayuth Roongsrimuang said CAT also expected a heavy impact in the future from the new 3G licences.
Concession revenues make up 60% of its total revenues and the licences would hit its cashflow, he said.