Thailand’s second largest cellco by subscribers Digital Total Access Communication (DTAC) has given details of its upcoming LTE expansion programme following the recent regulatory approval for usage of its existing GSM 1800MHz spectrum for 4G. As reported by Reuters, DTAC told a press conference that it plans to increase its total number of base stations to 32,000 in 2016 from its current 17,000, while taking LTE network coverage nationwide and aiming to offer ‘the fastest 4G with the widest bandwidth in Thailand’. Market leader Advanced Info Service (AIS) – which currently offers 2G/3G but not 4G services – had 23,800 3G base stations in operation at end-June, whilst AIS, DTAC and third-placed mobile provider True Corp (which, like DTAC currently offers 2100MHz LTE services) are set to bid on additional technology-neutral 1800MHz licences in November. DTAC aims to add commercial 1800MHz LTE services over a 10MHz spectrum block from next month to complement its existing 2100MHz coverage.
DTAC says it currently has 1.6 million 4G LTE subscribers and aims to increase this figure to 2.5 million by the end of the year. True Corp currently has approximately 1.7 million LTE subscribers.