Phuket: True planning 4G launch in April
BANGKOK: True Move will launch the country’s first fourth-generation (4G) commercial mobile service on the international standard 2.1-gigahertz spectrum in April, in a bid to beat its bigger rivals.
Friday 22 February 2013, 05:08PM
The country’s third-largest mobile operator initially plans to roll out 300 4G base stations in central Bangkok, rising to 2,000 bases in 15 major cities later this year.
Advanced Info Service (AIS) and Total Access Communication are gearing up to launch their 3G service on the 2.1-GHz spectrum under the new licensing regime, also scheduled in April.
Suphachai Chearavanont, the chief executive of True Move’s parent True Corporation, said the move reflected the company’s long-term spectrum management strategy to better serve real consumer demand.
The move into 4G will not affect 3G users. Indeed, True Move will focus on expanding its 3G network coverage on the existing 850-MHz frequency under its partnership contract with CAT Telecom.
The company will also spend heavily on increasing network capacity on the 2.1-GHz spectrum.
True expects to have 13,000 3G bases on the 850-MHz frequency this year plus 5,000 more 3G sites for the 2.1-GHz spectrum, said Mr Suphachai.
Through subsidiaries Real Future and Real Move, True signed a contract in 2011 with CAT to provide 3G service on the 850-MHz frequency.
Real Future’s BFKT leased network equipment to CAT to wholesale and resell 3G bandwidth, then CAT wholesaled the bandwidth to Real Move.
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission ordered a probe last June into whether BFKT violates the Telecommunications Act by operating a rental network service without a licence from the watchdog.