February 07, 2014 00:00 By Usanee Mongkolporn
DTAC TriNet is expected to launch fourth-generation long-term evolution (LTE) wireless broadband service on its 2.1-gigahertz spectrum in April, said a source in the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission.
DTAC TriNet, a unit of Total Access Communication (DTAC), won approval for the 4G launch on Wednesday from the NBTC telecom committee.
The source said the company would launch the 4G service on 200 sites in Bangkok and another 100 sites in some major provinces.
DTAC TriNet is one of the three holders of NBTC licences to operate wireless broadband on the 2.1GHz spectrum. The other two are Advanced Wireless Network (AWN) of Advanced Info Service and Real Future of True Corp.
Real Future is currently the only provider of commercial 4G service in Thailand. It introduced both 3G and 4G commercially last May on its 2.1GHz spectrum. It currently offers 4G on around 700 LTE sites in Bangkok, and aims to have 1,200 sites in operation by end of the current quarter.
DTAC has said there is broad demand from its subscribers for 4G, which promises enhanced mobile Web access, Internet-protocol telephony, high-definition and three-dimensional TV and other improvements over 3G. DTAC projected the number of its subscribers with 4G-capable devices to reach about a million by last December, and the company wants to respond to this pent-up demand.
Meanwhile AWN currently has around 17 million 3G subscribers, while DTAC TriNet has about 13 million and Real Future 7 million.
The telecom committee on Wednesday also approved DTAC TriNet’s request for 4.4 million additional mobile-phone numbers and Real Future’s request for 4.6 million. Last week the committee approved the allocation of 9.9 million additional numbers to AWN.
As a result of these approvals, AWN has a total of 24 million mobile-phone numbers, while DTAC TriNet has 12.4 million and Real Future 14.6 million.
The committee also approved the AWN request for 1,000 numbers for its fixed telephone network in Greater Bangkok and another 1,000 numbers for its fixed network in Chon Buri.