Thai cellco DTAC is expected to launch 4G LTE mobile broadband services on its existing 2100MHz spectrum this April, according to a source at the National Broadcasting & Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) quoted by The Nation, following the operator’s 3G licence holding division DTAC TriNet receiving NBTC permission for a 4G launch last Wednesday. The regulatory source added that DTAC plans to launch LTE at 200 sites in Bangkok and another 100 sites in selected major cities in other provinces, to join Thailand’s current sole LTE operator True Corp (via its Real Future unit) which reportedly offers 4G on around 700 LTE-2100MHz sites in Bangkok, and aims to have 1,200 sites in operation by end of March 2014. DTAC previously projected the number of its network users with 4G-capable devices to reach about a million by last December.
The Nation adds that the NBTC’s telecom committee on Wednesday also approved DTAC TriNet’s request for 4.4 million additional mobile phone numbers, alongside True Corp’s (Real Future’s) request for 4.6 million extra numbers, following the approval of an allocation of 9.9 million additional numbers to AWN, the 2100MHz licensee unit of mobile market leader AIS. The extra number blocks will give AWN a total of 24 million mobile numbers, DTAC TriNet 12.4 million and Real Future 14.6 million. The committee also approved AWN’s request for 2,000 numbers for fixed telephony network services – 1,000 in each of Greater Bangkok and Chon Buri.