Thailand’s Advanced Info Service (AIS) has revealed a plan to soft launch 2100MHz 3G mobile services on 9 April 2013 ahead of a scheduled commercial launch on 8 May. AIS, which had 4.5 million 3G 900MHz network users at the beginning of January, is targeting a total of eight million 3G subscribers by the end of the year, while its 2100MHz rollout is expected to reach 50% population coverage by mid-year, 80% by the start of 2014 and 97% coverage within three years.
In a related announcement, Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) revealed that it has been picked to deploy AIS’ 2100MHz network, and is providing its Flexi multiradio base station and packet core solutions. Also part of the deal are NSN’s Operating Support System (OSS) solutions, NetAct multi-technology, multi-vendor network management system, Flexi NG 3.0 (Network Gateway) and Flexi NS 3.0 (Network Server). Saran Phaloprakarn, vice president of network strategic planning at AIS, noted the cellco’s technical and commercial partnership with NSN over the last 20 years, adding: ‘We needed a partner who understands our business.’