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NEWS UPDATES 18 August 2010

Eight companies in 3G bidding

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Eight companies are in the fold for the upcoming 3G licence auction scheduled for Sept. 28-29.

Foreign companies did not apply because of the National Telecommunications Commission’s recent declaration that it intended to curb "foreign dominance" in the sector. Of the eight applicants, two will have Asian telecom operators as their strategic partners.

NTC commissioner Natee Sukonrat said that frequent delays and questions about 3G terms were likely to deter foreign companies, which would probably be more interested in the mobile markets in China and India in any case.

The applicants are: Advanced Info Service (AIS) and its subsidiary AWN; Total Access Communication (DTAC) and its subsidiary DTAC Internet Service; True Move and SK Wireless - a subsidiary of parent True Corp; Samart I-Mobile; and Loxley Plc.

Samart I-Mobile and Loxley are providing 3G services for TOT Plc under the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) contract.

Only five companies will be eligible to submit bids as the major three mobile operators must decide to use only one entity each for bidding.

The NTC made 20 sets of bid documents available. Companies can buy the documents until August 29 and must submit their proposals by August 30.

The auction is expected to be staged at a resort in Hua Hin.

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