The board of state-owned telco TOT has imposed a 90-day deadline to complete the delayed first phase of its nationwide 3G network expansion. In May 2011 TOT signed a 3G network expansion contract with SL Consortium, consisting of Samart, Loxley, Huawei and Nokia Siemens Networks, to extend its Bangkok UMTS 2100MHz network across other provinces. Several deadlines for the rollout have since passed, the most recent being missed this month, and TOT’s network coverage remains limited to approximately 2,300 base stations, less than half the 5,200 base station total stipulated in the first-phase expansion project. The first-phase expansion plan involves utilising site sharing agreements with private sector cellcos AIS (covering 800 cell sites) and True Corp (300 co-located sites). The Bangkok Post reports that TOT’s board has also ordered the drafting of a new investment plan for a second-phase mobile network expansion spanning 15,000-18,000 base stations. The second-phase project proposals also involve rolling out 4G LTE services using 2300MHz spectrum, although this move requires regulatory approval.
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