Advanced Info Service (AIS), Thailand’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, has budgeted between THB15 billion and THB20 billion (USD457 million-USD609 million) for a 4G 1800MHz/900MHz licence when they are auctioned in Q3 2015, Thai newspaper The Nation quotes AIS CEO Somchai Lertsutiwong as saying. The CEO added that AIS was prepared to invest ‘at least THB40 billion’ on top of the licence fee in developing 4G infrastructure based on the new bandwidth, having ‘already invested THB80 billion for the 3G network over the past two years.’ AIS previously paid THB14.6 billion to obtain its 2100MHz 3G licence in 2012, while its existing concession contract for a 900MHz allocation with state-owned TOT ends in September 2015.
AIS earlier announced an investment of THB4.6 billion for the pilot phase of a fixed line broadband network, which is expected to secure around 100,000 broadband subscribers (with capacity for 300,000) next year. In addition, AIS plans to invest ‘more than THB10 billion for fixed broadband services if we find more demand,’ Somchai said. The ‘AIS FibreNet’ trial will be implemented in collaboration with property developers to serve their residential projects, using VDSL and FTTx technologies, with an official launch scheduled for early next year.