Thailand’s market-leading mobile operator AIS (Advanced Info Service) is planning a 4G investment of up to THB60 billion – around $1.83 billion.
The fund will go towards developing 4G and fixed broadband services in a bid to counter its rival True, which currently has the lead in Thailand’s 4G services space.
AIS chief executive Somchai Lertsutiwong confirmed that the operator has reserved around TBH15-20 billon to obtain 4G licences at auction next year, including 900MHz and 1800MHz frequencies. A further THB40 billion has been budgeted for building out 4G and fixed broadband infrastructure.
Leading Thailand’s mobile market with 43.8 million connections at the end of Q3 2014, AIS nonetheless lags behind on 4G, with 39.2 million of its customers being 3G subscribers. DTAC takes second place with 28.1 million connections, of which around 180,000 are 4G users.
True meanwhile is in third place with 23.3 million connections, but takes pole position in terms of 4G connections with 850,000. In order to catch up to this figure, AIS is reportedly considering a partnership with TOT to offer 4G services via a roaming or MVNO agreement.