China Mobile moves on True Thailand

China Mobile, the world’s biggest mobile carrier in terms of subscribers, has taken an 18 per cent stake in third placed Thai operator True Group for $882m.

The strategic partnership will help reduce True’s overall debt burden as well as strengthen the company’s financial status. Separately, the company is also planning a rights offering to raise a further $2bn for future investment in converged telecommunications and new technologies. True is currently the only operator to have launched LTE services, with a quarter of a million LTE subscriptions at the end of the first quarter this year, according to WCIS+.

Mr. Li Yue, Executive Director and CEO of China Mobile, said: “True Group is a good partner in Thailand as evidenced by its leadership in the broadband and cable TV industry as well as its well position in the 3G and 4G mobile business. We believe that the strategic partnership with True Corporation  is to the benefit of both parties in the light of integrating quality resources, maximizing potential synergies, as well as mutual branding enhancement.”

While it outstrips other large operators in subscriber numbers bya huge distance, almost all of China Mobile’s subscriptions are domestic. The operator has a Pakistani subsidiary with 23.8 million subscriptions at the end of 2013, according to WCIS+.  Its domestic subscriber base stood at 769 million at the same point.

The 9th annual LTE Asia conference is taking place on the 15th-17th September 2014 at the Suntec, Singapore. Click here to download a brochure for the event.

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