DTAC 3G coverage accelerates
Dec 21, 2012 (Bangkok Post - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Total Access Communication (DTAC) has earmarked 25 billion baht for installation of its third-generation (3G) mobile network over the next three years as it accelerates its time frame for covering 80% of the population.
Thailand's second-largest mobile operator expects half its existing 2G subscriber base will migrate to the new 3G network on the international standard 2.1-gigahertz frequency within the first year of service.
Chief executive Jon Eddy Abdullah said all of its 23.5 million customers on the existing analogue 1800-megahertz and 3G users on the 850-MHz frequencies are expected to move to the new 3G network system by 2016.
Mr Abdullah said DTAC expects its 3G network to cover half the population next year with 6,500 base stations, rising to 80% by 2015 _ one year ahead of the schedule set by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission.
The NBTC has ruled that an operator's 3G network must cover half the population in the first two years after obtaining a licence and 80% by the fourth year.
DTAC this year upgraded its 10,000 existing 2G base stations in preparation for 3G and 4G, plus another 5,000 3G base stations on the 850-MHz frequency.
Mr Abdullah said mobile users in Thailand will probably enjoy a reduction of at least 20% off the 3G tariff rates through the purchase of bundled packages.
DTAC will start installing 3G network equipment in the next two weeks.
Mr Abdullah said full 3G commercial service on the 2.1-GHz frequency will spur growth in the mobile broadband market of 10% in 2013, with the added effect of giving a boost to the country's economic development.
"The country's gross domestic product is expected to grow by one percentage point for every 10% increase in mobile broadband penetration," Mr Abdullah said.
He said DTAC has also completed restructuring of its organisation, call centres, supply chains and distribution channels to conform to the imminent 3G era.
For example, mobile financial services will be introduced on the company's 3G network, he said.
Shares of DTAC closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 88.25 baht, down 50 satang, in trade worth 202 million baht.
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