Thailand’s True Corp and Advanced Info Service (AIS) will be required to support their remaining 2G 1800MHz mobile customers for another six months after a previously issued 17 July deadline to ensure service continuity to consumers at their respective True Move and Digital Phone Co (DPC) 2G divisions, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has announced. As reported by the Bangkok Post, both operators have to transfer all existing 2G customers to other networks before new 4G 1800MHz spectrum licences are issued, scheduled for next January, said NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasit. ‘We have to extend the deadline for a second time as we don’t want signals for 2G SIM cards on the two mobile networks cut off,’ he added.
The 1800MHz build-transfer-operate (BTO) concessions of True Move and DPC (issued by state telco CAT) expired in September 2013, but the NBTC issued an extension, before extending the 2G support period for another year to July 2015 after the military government ordered the NBTC to suspend 4G spectrum auctions until this year. True Move has around 700,000 customers on the 1800MHz spectrum, down from seven million last year and 17 million in October 2013, while DPC has a negligible number of remaining users, around 1,000.