AIS to invest $1.1b in 4G expansion

Daily News

Thai mobile market leader AIS plans to invest at least 40 billion baht ($1.12 billion) to expand its 4G network to improve take-up and performance.

AIS has been spending heavily to deploy its 4G network and now expects to achieve 98% population coverage by the end of the year, the Bangkok Post reported.

But only around 25% of AIS' 39.9 million strong subscriber base are 4G users, compared to 25.2 million for 3G.

AIS aims to increase the percentage of 4G subscribers to 40% by the end of 2017. Take-up has been faster than initially expected, prompting the operator to raise its target.

AIS launched 4G two years later than key rival TrueMove, but due to it 4G investment strategy has exceeded True's 4G subscriptions and coverage, the report states.

The operator is shoring up its network to be able to cope with heavy data usage and the ongoing erosion of voice and SMS usage. Roughly 22% of the company's 60,000 base stations have been upgraded to 4G.

This move forms part of a wider strategy aimed at transforming AIS into a fully integrated digital services provider by 2019.

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