24 May 2017
State-owned Thai telecoms operator TOT has formally selected Telenor-backed Digital Total Access Communications (DTAC) as its preferred partner to deploy 4G LTE services using the 2300MHz band. The proposal involves DTAC’s wholly owned subsidiary TriNet Company (formerly DTAC Network) purchasing 60% of TOT’s total network capacity in the band; the fixed annual payment has been set at THB4.5 billion (USD131 million). TOT and DTAC aim to sign a final agreement in Q4 2017, after concluding negotiations regarding term and conditions, and securing approvals from the relevant government agencies.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) gave TOT the green light to develop 4G services using its existing 2300MHz spectrum for a ten-year period in October 2015 (i.e. ending in 2025). The authorisation was designed to help TOT create new revenue streams to offset lost build-transfer-operate (BTO) concession revenues, the watchdog claimed at the time. The service must be operational by end-2017, and cover 80% of the population within five years.