Thai cellco Advanced Info Services (AIS) says it is aiming to migrate its remaining 3G users who have 900MHz-only 3G devices to its newer, higher-capacity 2100MHz 3G network within two months. AIS’s services have recently been criticised for problems caused by traffic congestion following the commercial launch of 2100MHz 3G services in May, and its CEO Wichian Mektrakarn was quoted by the Bangkok Post as saying: ‘there is no longer time for excuses for AIS. We are accelerating the complicated network swapping period to finish as soon as possible. We are also encouraging our 3G customers on the 900MHz spectrum to switch.’ The report said that AIS has around 100,000 remaining 900MHz-only 3G users. AIS has two main reasons to migrate 3G users from 900MHz to 2100MHz: its 2100MHz service is provided under a full network operating licence issued last December while 900MHz services are operated under its revenue-sharing build-transfer-operate (BTO) concession issued by state-owned telco TOT; and the UMTS-900 system is being operated with an inadequate bandwidth allocation of 5MHz. Despite the limitations of the legacy platform, AIS reported 5.3 million 3G users at end-March 2013, up from 4.5 million at end-2012, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database. AIS recently announced that it also plans to discontinue 2G services as soon as possible after the 900MHz BTO concession expires in 2015.
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