AIS unit seeks approval to test LTE: report

Dylan Bushell-Embling
15 Mar 2011

A subsidiary of Thailand's AIS has reportedly asked permission from concession issuer CAT to trial LTE on the 1800MHz band.

DPC, the operator of AIS' GSM 1800 network, plans to test equipment from Huawei, ZTE and Ericsson, the Nationreported an AIS source as saying.

The trial, if approved, will likely run for 90 days across seven or eight base stations in Bangkok.

DPC could set aside as much as 10MHz of the 12.5MHz of 1800MHz spectrum it holds for the trial, the report states.

AIS is exploring LTE as a means to combat True's plan to offer nationwide HSPA services through an arrangement with CAT.

AIS and DPC have argued that if True is to be given approval for this deal, they should be allowed to trial LTE services.

The court-ordered suspension of last year's 2100MHz 3G auction left Thailand's private operators scrambling to find alternative means of developing their data service capability.

As well as its LTE ambitions, AIS has also recently revealed it will spend 2.5 billion baht ($82.5 million) to expand its HSPA services on the 900MHz band to a further 1,884 base stations.

But the operator is constrained by having limited spare 900MHz spectrum available.

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