Thailand’s largest cellco by subscribers, AIS, has set a capital expenditure (CAPEX) budget of THB8 billion (USD261 million) for network upgrades in 2012, with the aim of expanding its 900MHz 3G W-CDMA/HSPA services to 17 of Thailand’s 76 provinces by the end of the year. AIS’ chief operating officer Mark Chong Chin Kok, as quoted by Telecomasia, confirmed that the operator aims to double its number of 900MHz UMTS base stations to 3,500 in the year, with coverage to be concentrated in major cities of the 17 provinces, while 3G network capacity will be raised to five million users from the current two million. The CAPEX figure excludes any potential spending related to Thailand’s upcoming 2100MHz 3G full licence auction, which is hoped for later in the year.
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