Telecoms forge ahead with 4G tests, 3G
Private and state telecom operators are competing in different ways to take the lead in the third- and fourth-generation cellular markets.Real Future of True Corp plans to test 4G service on its 2.1-gigahertz frequency this week. About 100 4G base stations will be installed around Siam Square in April.
True Corp has about 13,000 sites nationwide for 3G on the 850-megahertz spectrum under a contract with CAT Telecom. Real Future's 3G and 4G services will use the same H brand.
TOT said yesterday that it would test 4G this Friday using its 2.1GHz frequency on 100 base stations along the main Skytrain route. TOT expects to complete the roll-out of all 5,320 3G-2.1GHz sites by April before shifting to expanding its new 4G network. It has already deployed about 3,500 3G sites.
Advanced Wireless Network (AWN), a subsidiary of Advanced Info Service (AIS), is set to launch its 3G-2.1GHz service by the end of next month. It expects its 3G network to cover every province by the end of this year.
Five international vendors are supplying AIS's network - Huawei Technologies (Thailand), ZTE (Thailand), Thai Transmission-Smart Revolution, Nokia Siemens Network and Ericsson Thailand.
TOT said this week that it planned to join with AIS to develop a broadband cellular service on their adjacent 2.1GHz bands.
Early this week Total Access Communication (DTAC) said its group was ready to serve all 2G-1,800Mhz, 3G-850MHz and new 3G-2.1GHz services to customers. Currently it has about 5,000 3G-850MHz sites and about 10,000 2G-1,800MHz sites. Its subsidiary DTAC Network plans to introduce its 3G-2.1GHz service by midyear.
AWN, DTAC Network and Real Future are the country's three holders of 2.1GHz licences.