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3G Saga taking Thailand back to bad old days of monopoly?

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Breaking News. Image: GoodManPL (Pixabay).


Despite stumbling steps towards liberalisation, the telecom industry is now sliding back to the old and gruesome monopoly era, with state-owned enterprises TOT and CAT Telecom set to take the lead role in 3G services, leaving private operators shunted to the sidelines.

After a lengthy wait, TOT yesterday won the Cabinet’s approval for its Bt20-billion project for a nationwide network of third-generation wireless broadband service. Next in line is CAT, which could stitch together another nationwide 3G network if it can complete the purchase of Hutchison Telecom’s network.

This is becoming a reality through a series of developments that will turn TOT and CAT into the sole operators of nationwide 3G services, which allow better and faster flow of such data as text, e-mail, social media and video on mobile phones. These services are considered crucial in generating revenue in an industry where traditional voice revenue is declining because of intense competition.

The Nation


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