Thai state-owned operator National Telecom (NT) rented RAN gear from AIS to enable its commercial 5G strategy, with the latter tapping into the former's 700MHz spectrum.
The move was approved by the nation’s telecoms regulator and will involve the lease of 13,500 base stations that will be constructed by AIS over the next two years and a domestic roaming deal on infrastructure until March 2036.
AIS will provide roaming services for free to NT until the network is built, but an unspecified roaming fee will be in place when finishes.
Separately, AIS will pay THB14.9 billion (US$419.6 million) for half of NT’s 700MHz spectrum to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission. A provision of this deal will be that 20% of this spectrum will be reserved for MVNOs.
State-owned operator CAT Telecom previously bought two 5MHz blocks of 700MHz at auction in 2020 for THB 34.3 billion.
NT is also planning to launch 5G services for enterprises using 400MHz of 26GHz spectrum TOT which merged with CAT Telecom.
AIS recently trialled mmWave 5G standalone technology in Bangkok with Chinese equipment vendor ZTE, in a move to enhance new use cases such as VR and online gaming.