Posted by Vodka on March 31, 19102 at 09:51:52:
In Reply to: Re: Priser - koble om mobilen posted by Vodka on March 31, 19102 at 09:44:11:
Embattled operator says users of any handset can use its system from Mon
Confused as to which mobile phone is the best buy at the moment? You're not the only one excited and yet perplexed by the promotional offers that seem to get better by the day.
The good news is the best is yet to come, as the price war has not even reached its peak.
It's a buyer's market now. So, if you're not in a hurry to pick up a new handset, just sit back, wait and enjoy watching the competition.
TA Orange sparked a buying frenzy over the past two days with the best offers the country has ever seen. But a new strategy unveiled by Total Access Communication (DTAC) has made the playing field even more intriguing.
DTAC decided yesterday to allow its customers and any handset user to use handsets from anywhere to freely hook up with it as of April 1 (Monday).
The move ends a decade of tight control of consumers by cell-phone operators.
The bombshell announcement from the country's second largest mobile-phone operator adds further pressure on the industry to quickly liberalise.
The move is expected to be joined by TA Orange and Advanced Info Service Plc as mobile subscribers from these two camps will see greater benefits by moving to DTAC's liberalised system.
What DTAC plans to do is unlock the so-called International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMIE) - a code designated to a particular handset on its SIM Card.
As a result, people will be able to freely choose a handset from anywhere in the world and hook up with DTAC's system. All they have to do is simply put DTAC's SIM card into their device.
To date, a major subscription cost for Thai consumers has been having to buy handsets from the cell-phone firms - such as AIS or DTAC - whose networks they want to use.
This grip on consumers has allowed mobile operators to make huge fortunes in the past.
DTAC said that its decision was in line with the telecom law, clause 49, that all consumers can use any imported handset to connect with any operator.
"We're proud to announce the new policy will benefit all our potential and existing customers," its statement said.
Market leader AIS, currently locks its six million or so subscribers to both its designated handsets and operating system.
TA Orange, the newcomer, has also toyed with the idea of an unlocked IMEI in its handsets' SIM card.
DTAC was partly forced to make its decision to keep its subscribers, who may have considered joining another system, following a threat from the Telephone Organisation of Thailand to cut off the group's access to other networks next month if disputed access fees are not paid.
"But DTAC's decision is likely to deal a blow to TA Orange. People will buy the cheap handsets from TA Orange and then hook up with DTAC's service," a handset dealer predicted.
A key factor is that DTAC now has a nationwide network. But TA Orange's network is still being rolled out, the dealer said.
TA Orange's chief operating officer Adhiruth Thothaweesaensuk declined to comment on DTAC's decision and its possible impact.
Meanwhile, AIS spokesperson Wilai Kiengpradoo said the group still had no plan to unlock the IMIE, but it would study how DTAC's move affects the company.
However, with a lot of users threatening to cancel subscriptions, AIS will surely be forced to make a similar move also to avoid conceding new ground to TA Orange and DTAC.
Jrarat Plingclasai, president of handset distributor IEC, said DTAC's move would benefit consumers and bring the country into line with world standards. "But the problem is smuggled handsets will flood the Thai market," he said.
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