Thailand’s dtac is picking up the pace of its low-band network deployment using the 700MHz spectrum it acquired in December 2020.
The operator deployed 2400 sites in Q4 2020 and is pushing to build out a further 4000 sites in the current quarter. Dtac noted that the low-band spectrum enables it to augment coverage both inside buildings and in rural regions.
During 2020, dtac launched 5G services in areas of six major Thai cities using the 700MHz band, and plans to extend this to high-traffic regions throughout 2021. The operator’s CEO Sharad Mehrotra said that the 700MHz deployment would “significantly improve coverage and speed nationwide”, and observed that by deploying dynamic spectrum sharing on this band, dtac would enable 5G and 4G services to operate without requiring bandwidth sharing.
Alongside this deployment, dtac added 3000 base stations using the 2.3GHz band across the year, pushing its total site number to 20,400. Mehrotra noted that upgrading this network with massive MIMO technology together with the deployment of over 20,000 4G TDD sites had increased dtac’s capacity threefold during 2020.