Thailand’s Advanced Info Service (AIS) soft launched its 2100MHz 3G network on 9 April to existing customers with compatible devices, and is targeting 200,000 users of the new infrastructure by the time of its official commercial launch scheduled for 8 May, The Nation reports. AIS will start acquiring brand new customers on the network from that date, and expects ten million 2100MHz W-CDMA/HSPA users by year-end. The new network currently covers main cities in 18 provinces and inner Bangkok, and is set to cover all main cities in 77 provinces by year-end, under a plan to increase 2100MHz cell sites from 3,600 currently to 3,800 at the commercial launch and 9,000 by end-December. AIS has earmarked THB70 billion (USD2.4 billion) investment to deploy 20,000 sites over three years. Rival DTAC has also set 8 May as its official 2100MHz 3G launch date, while True Corp is following an alternative strategy to introduce 4G technology in the 2100MHz band in May with coverage of 100 sites in Bangkok; this year True aims to deploy 5,000 3G 2100Hz sites nationwide and 2,000 4G 2100MHz sites in 15 major cities.
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