DTAC says it will invest as much as Bt18 billion under a plan to offer data-intensive services on the telecommunications operator’s 2100 MHz and 2300 MHz spectra.
The investment covers 2018 and by the end of the year the services on the 2300 MHz LTE-TDD network will reach 37 provinces, the operator said. Coverage will be nationwide next year under an overall goal to provide the services that are envisaged as handling the demands of the incoming 5G standard.
Lars Norling, chief executive of Total Access Communication (DTAC), said that the company yesterday carried out testing of the network services on the 2300 MHz spectrum for the first time in Thailand.
The firm will use advanced technology that can work with the future 5G services and help drive the country towards the goals of Thailand 4.0, Norling said. It will also spend heavily on base stations and telecommunications tower for the services that will run on the 2100 MHz and 2300 MHz spectra.
“We are continuing the densification of our network. The total investment for our 2100 MHz and 2300 MHz network is between Bt15 billion and Bt18 billion,” Norling said.
“Last year, we built over 4,000 cell towers. And this year, we are on track to repeat that. DTAC is deeply committed to building the best data network in Thailand.
“The new network is therefore the key to building Thailand 4.0 for today, but also for tomorrow.
“The 2300 MHz TDD will allow entirely new applications that require massive amounts of data. Imagine self-driving vehicles, VR goggles and farmers using automated drones to survey their fields with high-resolution cameras.”
Yesterday’s internal testing of the 2300 MHZ spectrum network services covered 10 sites in areas such as Sukhumvit, Ratchaprasong and Rama 3 in Bangkok.
“DTAC plans to roll out the 2300 MHz network in 37 provinces this year,” Norling said.
“The first areas of commercial operation will focus on high-traffic zones and will be ready for the first phase of commercial next month in Bangkok. DTAC plans to provide the 2300 MHz network services cover the whole country by the end of next year.”
Norling said that there were more than 85 models of devices - or 70 per cent of 4G devices – that worked with the 4G TDD network. The models included devices from the likes of Sony, iPhone and Samsung.
The TDD network is used widely in 57 countries, including China, India and Australia. Thailand will be the country in Asia Pacific region to provide LTE-TDD network services.
Norling said the firm has more than 20,000 telecommunications towers to provide broadband services nationwide. It plans to set up an additional 4,000 communications towers by the end of this year.
He said that the firm has a partnership with TOT to use 60 MHz of bandwidth on the 2300 MHz spectrum (from 2310-2370 MHz) to provide broadband services based on the 4G LTE-TDD (Time Division Duplex) technology.
TOT president Montchai Noosong said that partnership will enable the use of 4G LTE-TDD for the first time in Thailand.
The standard is used is used for mobile broadband and fixed wireless broadband services. It supports not only corporate business but also the upgrading of Thailand' digital infrastructure to keep up with advances in other countries.
The goal is to plan the network utilisation to serve users nationwide. The deployment of the 60 MHz bandwidth on the 2300 MHz spectrum is suitable for wireless high-speed Internet, ensuring that 4G LTE-TDD is key to the success of Thailand's communications and digital future, the company said.