Thai state-owned telco TOT has delayed signing an agreement with private sector cellco Advanced Info Service (AIS) which would allow the latter to utilise an unused 2×5MHz portion of TOT’s 2100MHz mobile spectrum for 4G LTE services, reports the Bangkok Post. The delay is understood to be aimed at ensuring the contract’s legality under the Frequency Allocation Act, which stipulates frequencies must be allocated via auction (despite the proposed contract only involving an initial one-year network rental agreement). TOT has 2×15MHz of 2100MHz spectrum and has offered 3G services since December 2009, with a current total of around 530,000 subscribers. AIS also has 2×15MHz of 2100MHz spectrum, and launched its 3G service in the band in May 2013, signing up 16.4 million subscribers by end-December 2013.
Last month TOT postponed the signing of an agreement with AIS to allow AIS’s 3G users to roam on TOT’s underused 2100MHz network to provide backup capacity. Another agreement was also postponed under which AIS’s subsidiary Super Broadband Network would lease 10,000 hotspots on TOT’s nationwide Wi-Fi network for one year to augment AIS’s 3G data service provision.