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3G finally in Thailand’s sights as True Corp purchases CDMA frequencies from Hutchison

A new acquisition could see the early deployment of 3G services by Thailand’s third-largest operator. True Corp, which owns the operator True Move, has confirmed that it will purchase the entirety of Hutchison Telecommunications International’s local CDMA business, complete with associated firms.

True Move is well known to be pushing its 3G rollout, with True Corp CEO Supachai Chearavanont suggesting that up to THB4 billion could be invested in the expansion of 3G infrastructure over the next two years. The acquisition will provide True Move with new spectrum frequencies which will allow for a faster deployment of its 3G network.

The deal, worth THB4.35 million (US$144,000), will see the Real Move unit of True Corp purchase 92.5% of Hutchison Wireless Multimedia Holdings. Three additional companies are included in the deal, among them the network provider BFKT; the three related firms will be bought for THB1 each by Real Move in conjunction with Real Future. The latter, another subsidiary of True, will help BFKT to reduce its debts with a THB6.3 billion loan.

Thailand’s stalled 3G licensing process has become an industry saga, and True Move’s 2G licence will expire in 2013, so acquiring licensed CDMA frequencies from Hutchison will make the operator the sole nationwide 3G provider in Thailand.

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