The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) board on Tuesday approved the plans of three major telecom operators to pull the plug on their 2G cellular service at the same time –11.59pm on October 31 this year.
The three operators are Advanced Wireless Network (AWN) of Advanced Info Service (AIS), DTAC TriNet (DTN) of Total Access Communication (DTAC), and TrueMove H Universal Communication (TUC) of True Corp.
NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith said after the board meeting that as of this month there were around 4.9 million subscribers to 2G service, of which 1.9 million are with AWN, 2 million with DTN, and around 950,000 with TUC.
In December last year the number of 2G subscribers was around 5.2 million, of which 2 million with AWN, 2.2 million with DTN, and 1 million with TUC.
The state telecom agencies TOT and CAT Telecom do not operate 2G services.
The NBTC will ask the three private telecom operators to soon submit for its approval their plans to launch public campaigns in the lead-up to switching off the 2G service.
Takorn said that the shutdown is part of the country’s moving forward to develop the 5G service, which the NBTC aims to get off the ground in 2020.
Takorn said the watchdog is expected to auction the 700MHz licence in May this year to provide the 5G service.