Samart Corporation is stepping up marketing efforts to promote its third-generation (3G) mobile broadband service after slowing activities for four months.
The country's leading communications equipment firm is acting as a mobile virtual network operator for end users of TOT Plc.
President Watchai Vilailuck said Samart plans to aggressively market its 3G service, under the i-Mobile 3GX brand, in the third quarter after the state telecom enterprise made progress in its 3G network expansion.
TOT hopes to launch nationwide 3G commercial service from 5,300 base stations this month.
The state enterprise was scheduled to launch the service last November, but the rollout was delayed after flooding affected construction of the 3G network late last year.
"We expect to have 700,000 3G customers by the end of this year," Mr Watchai said.
Samart has 100,000 active 3G customers now.
Samart reported a 65% increase in net profit yesterday to 268 million baht for the first quarter of this year, helped by high growth in both revenue and profit from its ICT businesses. Consolidated revenue rose by 23% to 4.32 billion baht.
Of the total revenue, 2.05 billion came from ICT businesses through Samart Telcoms (SamTel), 1.60 billion came from mobile multimedia through Samart I-Mobile, with the remainder from related businesses and utility services.
SamTel, expected to become the group's flagship business in the near future, reported first-quarter net profit of 151 million baht, up 26%, on revenue of 2.05 billion baht, an increase of 65% year-on-year.
"We're confident we will achieve our net profit target of 1 billion baht this year," said Mr Watchai.
Besides ICT businesses, he attributed the high profit to higher margins from sales of smartphones and digital content.
Shares of SAMART closed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 9.20 baht yesterday, down five satang, in trade worth 176.18 million baht, while shares of SAMTEL closed down 10 satang at 12.80 baht in trade worth 33.01 million baht.
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