Advanced Info Service Pcl (AIS), Thailand‘s largest mobile operator by number of subscribers and revenue, plans to invest 14.52 billion baht ($405.36 million) in the first phase of a 1,800 MHz network under the fourth generation (4G) technology, Chief Executive Somchai Lertsuthiwong said on Friday.
The company expects to install the 4G network in 6,000 locations by January when the service will start operating, said Somchai, adding nationwide rollout was planned for next year.
AIS’s wholly-owned Advanced Wireless Network Co Ltd (AWN) unit won an auction for the 4G mobile frequency licence last month. A preliminary launch of the service is scheduled for this month, Somchai told reporters in a press briefing.
“We expect more than 2 million subscribers of 4G service next year,” said Somchai, adding that there was currently demand from 4 million.
AIS is the only major Thai operator that does not have 4G service at present.
Total Access Communication said in a statement that it had about 2 million 4G subscribers.
($1 = 35.8200 baht) (Writing by Viparat Jantraprap; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Subhranshu Sahu)