Advanced Info Service (AIS), Thailand’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, has introduced 1Gbps download speeds under the ‘Next G’ banner. The new network leverages the cellco’s tri-band carrier aggregation (3C) LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) network (including 4×4 multiple-input, multiple-output [4×4 MIMO] and 256 QAM functionality), alongside its so-called ‘Super Wi-Fi’ network. The former is said to deliver standalone downlink transmission speeds of up to 700Mbps, while the latter supports 650Mbps speeds.
According to the Bangkok Post, the new network is available in major provinces nationwide. AIS now has 49,000 LTE base transceiver stations (BTS) alongside 80,000 Wi-Fi hot-spots. At present, only four handsets are compatible with the new network, namely the Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+, S7 and S7 Edge models. Other Samsung devices will be made available in the future.
While further clarification has not been made available by AIS, the aggregation of LTE and Wi-Fi frequencies is widely referred to as LTE-Unlicensed (LTE-U). While the parameters of LTE-U have yet to be formally defined by the 3GPP, existing networks are known to bolster 4G coverage using publicly available Wi-Fi frequencies.