DTAC eyes next goal of 4G to cash in on data rise
Nov 09, 2012 (Bangkok Post - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Total Access Communication (DTAC) said yesterday it plans to jump on both the 3G and 4G bandwagons to cash in on revenue opportunities from booming mobile data traffic.
The second-largest mobile operator outlined plans to start providing 3G service on the 2.1-gigahertz spectrum by next June if the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) grants it a licence this year.
The company plans to launch a 4G mobile service on its existing analogue 1800-megahertz frequency, which is now 4G-ready, once the NBTC issues licences.
DTAC now has 15,700 base stations nationwide, said Prathet Tankuranun, senior vice-president for network operations at DTAC.
DTAC will complete its 4G trial today after offering superfast mobile broadband in the Rama IV and Siam Square areas since Oct 1.
The test, via aircards and 4G-compatible smartphones, achieved a maximum speed of 150 Mbps for data download, five times faster than 3G and 200 times faster than 2G.
"With the technology and equipment that we now have, upgrading our network to 4G takes less than 15 minutes at each base station," Mr Prathet said, adding that DTAC is the most-prepared operator to launch 4G service in Thailand.
DTAC plans to spend 10 million baht rolling out 5,000 3G base stations on the 2100-MHz spectrum nationwide to cover half the population within one year _ a year ahead of the NBTC's requirement.
The number of 3G base stations would double to 10,000, covering 80% of the population, within four years.
Mr Prathet said DTAC also plans to increase the number of 3G base stations on the analogue 850-MHz frequency to 5,000 sites this year to cover half the population, up from 3,500 now.
Darmp Sukontasap, DTAC's chief corporate affairs officer, said the company saw its data traffic surge tenfold this year, thanks to the proliferation of tablets and smartphones and 3G commercial service.
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