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TOT and AIS may share Thailand networks
21 March 2012
Thailand’s TOT discusses mobile tower and fibre-optic network sharing with rival operator AIS
Thailand’s state-owned operator TOT is planning to share its mobile towers and fibre-optic network to compete in 3G broadband services, and is discussing a possible deal with local operator Advanced Info Service, according to local reports.
TOT — formerly the Telephone Organization of Thailand — is discussing the joint construction of 2,000 mobile base stations with AIS, to boost 3G network expansion and cut costs, reports the Bangkok Post. AIS operates under a concession that is supposed to end in 2015 but could expire earlier as a result of the infrastructure sharing deal. Over 15,000 TOT base stations run on 900 megahertz as part of the state’s concession agreement with AIS.
Settapong Malisuwan, vice-chairman of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, expects tower cooperation licences to accelerate mobile operators’ 3G network roll outs and to encourage new entrants to take part in the September 3G auction.
NBTC is pushing state-owned telecommunications firms to become network service providers rather than operators. The regulator is revising a draft on tower-sharing licensing, and may finalise regulations later in 2012. GTB
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