NEWLY acquired bandwidth that augments Advanced Info Service’s (AIS) existing 1800MHz spectrum will not only increase the mobile operator’s overall capacity on the 1800MHz network but is set to boost data connection speeds.
Pratana Leelapanang, AIS' chief consumer business officer, said yesterday that the bulked-up capacity would enable the company to maintain existing 4G customers and woo new ones.
AIS has around 22 million 4G users, as of the second quarter of this year, out of its total pool of mobile phone subscribers of more than 40 million.
AIS’ bullish views were expressed after its wholly owned subsidiary Advanced Wireless Network Co Ltd (AWN) on Sunday won an additional 10MHz bandwidth (combined uplink and downlink frequency) on the 1800MHz in an auction run by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).
Combining the new bandwidth with its existing 30MHz of 1800MHz means that AWN will operate on a contiguous 40MHz bandwidth of the 1800MHz spectrum.
This added heft will raise its 4G network speed by between 15 per cent and 30 per cent across all 4G-compatible devices and boost its 1800MHz bandwidth network capacity by around 33 per cent.
Ready to go into service
AIS is ready to add this additional 10MHz bandwidth of the 1800MHz into service after the concession of this additional block under a CAT Telecom concession ends on September 15.
CAT had granted this 1800MHz band to Total Access Communication to offer mobile phone service. The NBTC reclaimed the band for auction on Sunday before the expiry of the concession.
The NBTC divided this whole 1800MHz band into nine lots, each containing 10MHz bandwidth.
AWN and the other bid winner, dtac TriNet, each selected only one lot of the spectrum in the auction.
They proposed the same final total price of Bt12.511 billion to grab their lots, each containing 10MHz bandwidth.
Clinching the additional bandwidth from the auction on Sunday also means AIS will be operating on the biggest telecom spectrum bandwidth of 120MHz.
Of the total, it holds a licence from the NBTC to operate 30MHz of the 1800MHz spectrum, together with the newly won 10MHz of 1800MHz.
It also holds licences to operate 30MHz of 2.1GHz, and 20MHz of the 900MHz spectrum.
The company partnered with TOT to provide the service on the state agency's 30MHz of 2.1GHz.