The new 3G service provider, Real Move, has targeted about 1 million subscribers this year, said Supachai Chearavanont, chief executive officer of parent company True Corp. Real Move, which has provided the service under the TrueMove H brand, will spend Bt200 million this year on the marketing campaign, he added.
Real Move this year has mainly targeted all 200,000 existing 3G customers of TrueMove and 80 per cent of existing 800,000 subscribers of Hutchison-CAT Wireless Multimedia. It currently has about 50,000 subscribers after the commercial service launch last week.
Supachai said Real Move’s service launch would enable True group to continue to maintain its leadership in the 3G service.
TrueMove, which is True’s cellular flagship, has provided 3G service on non-commercial trial basis. Hutchison-CAT is Real Move’s subsidiary. Real Move has leased 3G bandwidth capacity from CAT Telecom to provide the service.
Supachai said that the consumption of wireless data bandwidth in Thailand would jump in response to the upcoming 3G service competition.
Real Move and CAT will officially launch the service at the same time next month, while Advanced Info Service (AIS) is expected to kick off full 3G service this week. Total Access Communication (DTAC) last week announced it would be launching the commercial 3G service next month.
Supachai said True Group had to file complaints against DTAC about its foreign shareholding in retaliation for the complaints against CAT’s management and CAT’s board over the legitimacy of the deals between CAT and True to jointly develop the 3G service business.
Though DTAC’s complaint is not directly aimed at the True group, the complaint had an impact on the group. This prompted the group to make the decision to “put the brakes” on DTAC.
“However, after our move, we’re publicly being perceived as a giant company bullying DTAC when the truth is that Telenor, which is DTAC’s foreign strategic partner, is many times bigger than us,” Supachai said.
DTAC lodged a five-point complaint at the Central Administrative Court in April against the CAT-True 3G deals. The court in May accepted for judicial review only the first point, prompting DTAC to petition the court in June to accept the other four points, too.
In the first point of the complaint, DTAC requested a court order to terminate the resolutions of the CAT board on January 14 allowing CAT to enter into deals for collaboration on 3G service development.
Shortly after the DTAC complaint in April, TrueMove lodged a series of complaints against DTAC with several state authorities, alleging its rival of breaching the Foreign Business Act, which caps the foreign shareholding in a local firm at 49.99 per cent.
Two weeks ago, the Business Development Department, one of the state agencies with which TrueMove had lodged the complaint, passed on its preliminary probe results of the DTAC case to be further investigated by the police.
The department’s probe of the case also sparked what appeared to be conflict between Deputy Commerce Ministry Alongkorn Ponlaboot and the department’s director-general Banyong Limprayoonwong.
While the minister wanted the department to come up with a clear-cut conclusion whether DTAC had breached the law, Banyong wanted to simply hand the preliminary probe result to be further investigated by the police. Telecom industry observers questioned if the probe process was politically intervened.
Supachai said that True never expected in the least that the probe would spark a conflict between Alongkorn and Banyong.
Source: The Nation