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Thai Telco AIS to Lease RAN Equipment to National Telecom for 5G

2023-09-14 12:05:00| Source:Rcrwireless

Under the terms of the agreement, AIS will lease 13,500 base stations which the carrier expects to deploy over the next two years

Thai carrier Advanced Info System (AIS) has signed an agreement to lease Radio Access Network (RAN) equipment to state-run operator National Telecom (NT), according to local press reports.

The agreement will allow the state-owned company to provide 5G services using its 700 MHz spectrun. The reports noted that this leasing agreement has been already approved by the local regulator.

Under the terms of the agreement, AIS will lease 13,500 base stations which the carrier expects to deploy over the next two years. Additionally, a national roaming deal on AIS infrastructure has been agreed upon until March 2036.

During the construction of the new network infrastructure, AIS agreed to provide national roaming services to NT free of charge. As part of a separate agreement, NT will transfer half of its 700 MHz spectrum to AIS, with the provision that 20% of the spectrum be reserved for MVNOs.

This separate deal stipulates that AIS will pay NT a total of THB14.9 billion ($419.6 million) for the spectrum.

State-owned CAT Telecom had previously acquired two, 5-megahertz blocks of 700 MHz spectrum in an auction in 2020 for THB34.3 billion. Additionally, NT plans to launch 5G services for enterprises using 400 megahertz of 26 GHz spectrum acquired from TOT, which later merged with CAT Telecom.

Chinese vendor ZTE recently partnered with AIS and Qualcomm Technologies to complete the trial of mmWave 5G Standalone technology at the AZ center in Bangkok.

During the trial, ZTE noted that 5G mmWave SA technology achieved downlink speeds of 7.04 Gbps, uplink speeds of 2.12 Gbps under and end-to-end latency of less than 4 milliseconds. The company added that these results were achieved using a single CPE prototype powered by Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System from Qualcomm Technologies, along with ZTE’s latest mmWave AAU network infrastructure equipment.

AIS’s 5G network already covered all 77 provinces of Thailand as of the end of last year. AIS launched 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) service in February 2020 using the 700 MHz, 2.6 GHz and 26 GHz bandwidth that it won in the spectrum auction, followed by 5G SA in July 2020 in cooperation with Huawei.

AIS’ customer base reaches nearly 46.1 million subscribers, including 6.8 million 5G subscribers as of the end of the fourth quarter of 2022. AIS had deployed around 26,000 5G base stations nationwide as of December 2022.