Thai operator Advanced Info Service (AIS) has reportedly approached Thai regulators about sharing part of Thai Mobile’s 1900MHz bandwidth in a bid to help the new 3G operator rollout its network more quickly. According to the Bangkok Post, which cites a source at Thailand’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) ministry, AIS has proposed using 30MHz (15MHz uplink and 15MHz downlink) of Thai Mobile’s bandwidth in return for helping Thai Mobile’s owner TOT’s 3G rollout. The plan would see AIS become a service contributor to both operators, the report notes. According to the source, AIS said it was willing to deploy a 3G network within three months to fulfil the ministry’s policy to offer 3G service within this year. He added that AIS is willing to transfer all its assets to TOT under a ‘build-transfer-operate’ concession agreement, and is willing to pay revenue sharing under the same terms.
State-owned TOT announced last week that it will invest THB29 billion (US$865 million) in building-out a 3G network using 1900MHz spectrum with the aim of launching commercial operations next year. It is targeting 4 million 3G users within five years of launch. After suffering several delays, the Thai government is reportedly keen to launch 3G in the country as soon as possible and is said to be keen for co-operation between operators. Thailand’s three largest 2G operators – AIS, DTAC and True Move – all reportedly plan to launch 3G services by year-end. Currently, AIS is the only operator to have launched 3G HSPA services in the country, offering a limited service in Chiang Mai.