Thai state-owned operator TOT has agreed to allow MVNO The WhiteSpace, branded as Penguin, to boost its capacity using TOT’s 2.1GHz spectrum.
TOT has agreements with two other MVNOs – i-Kool and Buzzme – to use its 2.1GHz spectrum, as well as providing its own 3G service over the band.
Penguin first launched in April 2016 and provides 3G services to its 300,000 active users. The MVNO currently offers a low-cost prepaid service via CAT Telecom’s 850MHz network, and following its agreement with TOT aims to allow its customers to roam between the networks by Q1 2018.
Currently Penguin is seeing uptake of around 40,000 SIM cards per month, with the goal of doubling its active user base over the next year, according to The WhiteSpace CEO Chaiyod Chirabowornkul. The MVNO’s target audience is prepaid customers based outside of Thailand’s largest cities.
This factor, Chaiyod argues, means that Penguin is competing for a different audience to Line Mobile, which provides services over number three dtac’s network and is owned by a subsidiary of this operator. He noted that Line Mobile is not targeting rural areas as its model heavy on digital and connected services.