True Move is gearing up to integrate mobile users on its second-generation (2G) network to the 3G system within four months, eight months ahead of the national telecom regulator's requirement.
The mobile concessions granted by CAT Telecom to True Move and Digital Phone Co (DPC), the latter a unit of AIS, expired last month.
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) asked True Move to migrate its 17 million 2G customers to its other networks by next September.
DPC has 70,000 subscribers on its 2G network.
The regulator allowed True Move and DPC to handle subscribers using 2G services on the 1800-megahertz spectrum for one year after the expiry date.
Chakkrit Urairat, the deputy director for regulatory issues at True Corporation, said the company has two options: migrating customers via the mobile number portability (MNP) or the SMS approach.
MNP enables users to retain their numbers when changing from one mobile network operator to another. The system has the capacity to handle 60,000 numbers a day.
Under the SMS plan, Mr Chakkrit said True Move will send an SMS to targeted customers asking for a permission to swap them from the old system to the new network.
True, through subsidiary Real Move, is operating its mobile service on the 850-MHz spectrum under the TrueMove H brand. It has 14 million mobile numbers available to accommodate new subscriptions.
Another subsidiary, Real Future, holds a licence to provide 3G mobile services on the 2100-MHz spectrum. It has 5 million mobile numbers available, said Mr Chakkrit.
The NBTC's telecom committee yesterday approved the plans of True Move and DPC to handle existing 2G users.
Both companies are required to update details and plans to the NBTC on a monthly basis.
NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasit said the regulator is uneasy about True's strategy for its automatic swap of customers.
"We are closely monitoring the move," he added.
The cabinet yesterday approved a 200-billion-baht budget for CAT Telecom to invest in the development of a 3G network on the 850-MHz spectrum over the next 14 years.
It will be made in collaboration with BFKT Co, a subsidiary of True Corporation.
About the author
- Writer: Komsan Tortermvasana
Position: Senior Business Reporter