State-owned Thai telco TOT has chosen the country’s cellular market leader Advanced Info Service (AIS) as its strategic partner to provide wireless broadband services over TOT’s infrastructure, following a selection process that lasted almost a year, the Bangkok Post reports. TOT board director Djitt Laowattana said the deal was approved on Friday, and a ten-year agreement is expected to be signed next month, under which AIS and TOT will jointly develop the mobile business using the latter’s 2×15MHz of 2100MHz bandwidth until 2025. Mr Djitt also indicated that ‘AIS alone’ would invest to expand mobile network infrastructure for TOT, while AIS would be allowed to rent up to 80% of TOT’s 2100MHz network capacity, with the remainder potentially rented to other companies (with Loxley Wireless named as a likely candidate). TOT has 5,320 existing 3G 2100MHz base stations. Last month, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) ruled TOT could also provide 4G services using existing 2300MHz-2400MHz spectrum until 2025, potentially in partnership with AIS.
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