Thailand-based dtac forecast the transition between 4G and non-standalone 5G in the country will be faster than the shift from 3G to LTE, as a drop in the price of compatible devices drives adoption.
In a blog, head of device portfolio Peerapol Chatanantavej noted it took about five years for Thailand to shift from 3G to LTE, with the move to 5G likely taking three-and-a-half to four.
“The transition will be complete when more affordable 5G-compatible models are launched in the market. How long this takes depends on the global ecosystem, which consists of service providers, smartphone manufacturers and chipset manufacturers,” Peerapol wrote.
Dtac predicted 5G device prices will fall from THB6,990 ($212.71) today to between THB3,000 and THB5,000 in the near term. It noted there are currently 60 models compatible with the 700MHz band from nine vendors available in Thailand and more are launching soon.
The operator forecast more than 6 million smartphones users in the country will upgrade to 5G-compatible devices within a year.
Also in the blog, dtac revealed it had deployed 9,100 700MHz sites using dynamic spectrum sharing technology by end-June. It received its licence in December 2020.
Ukrit Salyapongs, head of commercial strategy, planning and insights, explained the wide area reached by low-band 700MHz spectrum made it “perfect to bring additional coverage to rural and indoor areas”.
Dtac is using the band to expand “4G services across the country and develop 5G services in high-traffic areas”, the executive added.
It launched its first 5G pilot in January and now offers the service in nine provinces including Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back