NBTC approves trial run of 4G cellular broadband service

business December 06, 2011 00:00

By USANEE MONGKOLPORN
THE NATION

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The National Broadcasting and Tele-communications Commission has given approval to cellular operators to test fourth-generation cellular broadband service on the 2.3-gigahertz and 1,800-megahertz frequencies.



NBTC commissioner Colonel Settapong Malisuwan said the watchdog had approved a joint application by Advanced Info Service (AIS) and TOT to offer Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology 4G service on TOT’s 2.3GHz spectrum on a trial basis. The state agency will use 20MHz of its total 64MHz bandwidth of the spectrum in the trial.

AIS and TOT will jointly set up 84 cell sites in Bangkok and some major provinces to conduct the testing. Under NBTC policy, they can try offering the service for 90 days, which can extended for another 90 days.

Settapong said the NBTC was waiting for CAT Telecom, Total Access Communication (DTAC), TrueMove and Digital Phone Co to apply for permits to test providing the 4G service on 1,800MHz.

AIS chief executive officer Wichian Mektrakarn said his company was likely to conduct a test of the service upcountry but declined to elaborate.

True Corp CEO Supachai Chearavanont said the company had asked for an NBTC permit to test the 4G service on 1,800MHz. True is the parent of cellular operators TrueMove and Real Move.

AIS, DTAC and Real Move have provided commercial 3G service on their existing spectra in major provinces. All have been waiting for the NBTC to auction licences to use bands on the 2.1GHz spectrum to provide 3G service.