AIS signs vendor R&D agreements as True sells off assets

AIS signs vendor R&D agreements as True sells off assets

Thai market leader AIS has signed cooperation agreements with several international vendors for joint research and testing of 5G technology.

Together with China’s Huawei and ZTE and Finland’s Nokia, AIS will seek to establish the most appropriate use cases for 5G technology across various sectors. It did not mention a timeframe for forthcoming trials.

In particular, the operator’s CTO Kriengsak Wanichnatee noted that AIS is mindful of boosting its service offering to meet Thailand’s digital industry targets. The operator’s choice to partner with Chinese vendors echoes that of the Philippines’ Globe Telecom, which announced in June that it would not be deterred from using Huawei’s 5G network equipment or from selling its devices – despite mounting pressure on the vendor from the US and other markets.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s second-placed operator True Move has sold off THB15.7 billion ($512 million) of infrastructure to the Digital Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund. This includes 788 towers, 1795km of fibre optic cable suitable for mobile access, and 3700km of FTTx fibre.

The operator is planning to lease back around 80% of the fibre along with a number of spaces on the towers up to September 2033. In May last year, True sold 2589 towers and 27,368km of fibre to the fund – in which the operator holds an interest of around 30%, having acquired newly issued shares to maintain this holding.

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