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 Tuesday, March 28 2006 @ 11:06 PM EST

Nokia Lands Thai Mobile Phone Expansion Deal


TechnologyNokia was tapped to further serve Thailand’s second largest mobile operator, Total Access Communications (DTAC), by providing the gear to help the carrier expand its GSM/GPRS/EDGE network.

Under the Thai agreement, Nokia will deliver a significant number of base stations and services, including project management, implementation and operations support services. Nokia also will provide its “Smart Radio Concept” technology to enhance DTAC network coverage and to improve quality. The value of the order, placed under an existing exclusive frame agreement between Nokia and DTAC, was not disclosed.

DTAC is a strong performer in the Thai mobile market, owning a 30-percent market share. At the end of 2005, the operator had close to 8.7 million subscribers, up from nearly 7.8 million at the end of 2004.

The carrier also is planning to target the postpaid Thai market; of the 7.8 million total customers, most are prepaid but the company hopes to rapidly accelerate postpaid numbers. DTAC recently said it expects the prepaid segment to grow by 50 percent, from the current four million subscribers to around six million by 2008.

Nokia also disclosed some encouraging findings from its Digital Video Broadcasting – Handheld (DVB-H) trials in Europe, which it said proves most people will pay to see TV on the tiny screen. The trials, held in the U.K., Spain, Finland and France, showed U.K. customers as being the most enthusiastic.

Interim results from a pilot in Oxford showed that 83 percent of participants were “satisfied” with the service and that more than 75 percent said they would purchase the service within 12 months.

In France, 68 percent said they would pay for mobile-TV services while more than half (55 percent) in Spain were willing to do so. Nearly 75 percent of Spanish participants said they would recommend the service to friends and family.

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