Thailand’s largest cellco by users Advanced Info Service (AIS) has commercially launched its residential fibre broadband service, ‘AIS Fibre’, offering connection speeds of up to 1Gbps via fibre-to-the-home (FTTH), with VDSL connections also available in selected areas, alongside its ‘Playbox’ IPTV set-top box service. The operator’s website says that users must sign up to a twelve-month contract for its new home packages which range from 15Mbps/5Mbps (down/upload) costing THB590 (USD18) per month, to 1Gbps/200Mbps priced at THB27,990. Under an initial promotion the set-top box and IPTV setup fees are waived, while Playbox IPTV content packages offer more than 100 TV channels plus on-demand content. Additionally, Playbox owners get a free limited trial subscription to new Asia-based movie/TV streaming service HooQ for at least the first month, with a six-month free period available on internet packages of 30Mbps (download) and above.
AIS fixed broadband network coverage is initially present in selected parts of seven provinces – Bangkok Metropolitan Area (BMA), Chiang Mai, Nakhon Ratchasima, Udon Thani, Khon Kaen, Phuket and Songkhla (Hat Yai) – passing 130,000 homes, 500 districts/villages and 700 multi-occupancy buildings at launch, according to the company. Having budgeted approximately THB1 billion in the project’s first year, a three-year investment budget of THB4.6 billion is expected to achieve one million homes passed and over 300,000 subscribers. AIS’ head of fixed broadband, Saran Phaloprakarn, said that the firm expects 100,000 subscribers this year.