TOT eyes new revenue from AIS pact [Bangkok Post, Thailand :: ]
(Bangkok Post (Thailand) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Feb. 24--TOT Plc expects to earn revenue of at least 800 million baht a year from its network rental service once the state telecom enters a partnership with mobile leader Advanced Info Service (AIS).
TOT chief executive Yongyuth Wattanasin said a one-year memorandum of understanding between the two parties is expected to emerge next month after TOT's board approved the deal.
TOT wants to rent out the existing unused 5-megahertz bandwidth of its 2100-MHz spectrum to AIS for the purpose of a fourth-generation (4G) trial in Bangkok.
TOT has 15 MHZ of bandwidth on its 2100MHz spectrum providing 3G service, with the capacity to serve 7.2 million subscribers. The state enterprise has 5,320 3G base stations and just 530,000 3G subscribers.
AIS provides 2G mobile service on the 900-MHz spectrum under a TOT concession that expires in September 2015.
The AIS subsidiary Advanced Wireless Network (AWN) Co holds a licence to run 3G service on the 2100-MHz spectrum. AIS has 41 million subscribers, 17 million of which are 3G customers.
AWN operates 3G service on 1950-1965 MHz for uplink and 2140-2155 MHz for downlink, while TOT 3G operates service on 1965-1980 MHz for uplink and 2155-2170 MHz for downlink. The adjacent slots of enhance the opportunity for collaboration, he said.
TOT's second-phase 3G network expansion has been suspended by a delay in government funding. It plans an additional 13,000-15,000 base stations and will seek private financial and operational support as the political deadlock continues.
By law, TOT cannot book any concessions revenue as of last Dec 20. The state enterprise must pass concession revenue to state coffers.
AIS is determined to jump into 4G mobile broadband service this year, saying it cannot afford to lose out on the August licence auction for the 1800-MHz spectrum.
(c)2014 the Bangkok Post (Bangkok, Thailand)
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