True releases expansion plans; shares infrastructure with DTAC via fund

30 Oct 2014

The True Telecommunications Growth Infrastructure Fund (TRUEGIF), established by Thai quadruple-play group True Corp, has signed a three-year network sharing deal with mobile rival Digital Total Access Communication (DTAC), The Nation reports. The deal initially covers DTAC leasing between 100 and 115 3G 2100MHz cellular towers from TRUEGIF this year, while DTAC is considering renting an additional 500 towers from the fund next year. Currently, a partnership between True Corp and state-owned CAT Telecom leases 4,360 3G 850MHz telecom towers from the fund, which is 32.5% owned by True Corp.

True Corp has also revealed plans to invest THB4 billion (USD123 million) to expand its 4G LTE-2100 network to reach 7,000 base stations nationwide by next February, up from the expected 3,000 cell sites planned for the end of this year, its CEO Suphachai Chearavanont announced, adding that its 4G network will cover around 60% of the population by February 2015, up from around 25% at present.

For its part, DTAC recently announced it will expand its 3G and 4G LTE networks by a total of 6,500 cell sites by 31 March 2015, including expanding its LTE 2100MHz sites by 2,700 to reach a total of 3,000 nationwide, while raising its total 850MHz/2100MHz 3G base stations to above 20,000.