Thailand's AIS facing 2G switch-off

14 Mar 2016

Subscribers to Thai operator AIS' 900-MHz 2G service could face having their services disconnected by midnight tonight amid an ongoing dispute over spectrum usage.

AIS still has around 400,000 2G subscribers left on its 900-MHz 2G network, but spectrum AIS had been using for the service has been reallocated at auction to True Move H Universal Communication.

True's 900-MHz license is due to take effect from today, leaving the fate of the remaining subscribers hanging in the balance, the Nationreported. According to the report, AIS is expected to announce that its 2G subscribers will not face any disruption as a result of the reallocation, even though the rules stipulate that AIS will have to switch off its 900-MHz service after the spectrum changes hands.

The NBTC recently held meetings with AIS, state-owned TOT and True over ways to prevent disruption to the remaining customers. But the companies were reportedly unable to reach a mutual agreement.

True had offered to let AIS use its 900-MHz spectrum in exchange for a usage fee, but AIS has insisted on using the 900-MHz spectrum from the other winner of 900-MHz spectrum, Jas Mobile Broadband. The NBTC has rejected this proposal.

Meanwhile the regulator has ordered that the applications of around 800,000 2G subscribers of AIS and rival Dtac be port their mobile number to True's network be expedited.

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