Thai market leader AIS and state-run provider TOT have agreed a deal that will allow the former to deliver commercial services using the latter’s 2.1GHz spectrum.
The agreement will see AIS paying TOT an annual fee of THB3.9 billion ($119 million) to use 80% of its 2.1GHz spectrum. AIS will also pay rental fees for TOT’s towers and 2G equipment, but no rates have been agreed and contracts have yet to be signed.
TOT will be able to provide its own services over the remaining 20% of its spectrum, and will be able to use AIS’s network of 16,000 2.1GHz base stations to do so. The state-run operator is aiming to complete a rebrand of its 2.1GHz band services from TOT 3G to TOT Mobile by June this year, and hopes to boost its total subscribers from 100,000 to 3 million by 2020.
The operators have been providing trial services over the 2.1GHz band since July 2016 in anticipation of receiving the green light from the government, which occurred in November. In addition to its deal with AIS, TOT has also received approval from the Thai regulator NBTC (National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission) for number three dtac to offer LTE services over 60MHz of TOT’s 2.3GHz spectrum.