CAT and TOT merger on track for January deadline

CAT and TOT merger on track for January deadline

Thailand’s Digital Economy and Society (DES) minister has confirmed that the merger between the country’s state operators TOT and CAT Telecom should be complete by 13th January 2021.

The Bangkok Post reports that the operators must conclude the process between 4th and 13th January, with the merged entity to be rebranded as National Telecom (NT). The deadline was initially set for 14th July this year but the Covid-19 pandemic coupled with the scale of paperwork involved meant that this slipped by six months.

Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta noted that the management teams of both operators are currently discussing partnerships with private firms as they prepare to deploy 5G, saying: “5G development will require the involvement of private operators and is not meant to serve certain industries or rich people. This service is intended for all Thais to raise their quality of life.”

As noted by CommsUpdate, TOT and CAT both acquired 5G spectrum at auction in February this year, with the former bidding on a 400MHz block of 26GHz millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum and the latter obtaining a 2×10MHz block of 700MHz spectrum.

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