AIS hunts WiMAX licence

10 Oct 2007

Advanced Info Services (AIS), Thailand’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, is hoping to launch fixed-wireless broadband services based on WiMAX technology in 2008 as part of its strategy to become a full service telecoms provider, reports the Bangkok Post. CEO Vikrom Sriprataks said a WiMAX network, to be operated by subsidiary Superbroadband Network, would enable AIS to offer high speed internet access, voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) telephony and IPTV. He said the company would rent a fibre-optic network from the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) to provide the wireless broadband service, and plans to hire media firms to provide content and applications for WiMAX-based services. Superbroadband Network holds a fixed-wireless network licence from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), but is required to apply for additional WiMAX frequencies. AIS will propose a new investment plan for approval at the company’s shareholders’ meeting next week. Mr Vikrom said Superbroadband Network would focus on the wholesale market while the company’s data/internet arm Advanced Datanetwork Communications (ADC) would focus on the retail segment. ADC, a joint venture with state telco TOT, already provides IPTV, as do private sector broadband rivals True Corp and TT&T. TOT owns wireless broadband frequencies in the 2.4GHz band, whilst AIS’s fellow Shin Corp group member, Shin Satellite (ShinSat) holds 3.5GHz-band spectrum.

Thailand, Advanced Info Service (AIS)