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AIS 3G-2.1GHz closes in on subscriber target of 12m

The country's largest cellular operator, Advanced Info Service (AIS), has already achieved around 10.8 million subscribers to its third-generation wireless broadband service on the 2.1-gigahertz spectrum, well on its way to this year's target of 12 million customers.

Of the current 2.1GHz customers, half migrated from the AIS 2G network to its 2.1GHz subsidiary Advanced Wireless Network, and the rest are newly acquired AWN subscribers, said AIS chief executive officer Wichian Mektrakarn.

AWN debuted the 3G-2.1GHz service in April. The National Broadcasting and Telecommunica-tions Commission (NBTC) last December awarded 2.1GHz licences to AWN, DTAC TriNet of Total Access Communication, and Real Future of True Corp.

AWN's 3G network now covers main cities in 77 provinces, totalling around 10,000 base-station sites. By the end of the second quarter of 2014, the coverage will equal that of the AIS 2G network, totalling around 14,000 sites.

These achievements were all part of AIS's initial targets. The next target is to retain the company's leadership in all aspects by maximising benefits for Thais, leveraging on 3G technology hereafter, Wichian said.

AIS has set its 2013 revenue growth target from the service at 6-8 per cent year on year.

AIS yesterday completed its 23rd year of service. Wichian added that besides developing its 3G-2.1GHz service, the company was ready to bid for a 4G licence. The NBTC is expected to call for such bids late next year.

During the introduction period of 3G service, AIS communicated with customers the theme "AIS 3G-2.1GHz, the Real One with World Standard". Yesterday it took a further step, adopting the concept of "Better Understanding Customer Demand for Every Aspect of Life".

AIS's share price yesterday closed at Bt257, up 0.78 per cent.


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