Thai state-owned operator TOT has secured approval to use its existing unused 2400-MHz spectrum to provide 4G services.
Regulator NBTC will allow TOT to use the spectrum for this purpose for a 10-year term, the Bangkok Post reported.
TOT has 64 MHz of unused 2400-MHz spectrum, and 60 MHz of this can be used to provide commercial 4G services, the report states.
With the approval TOT is now aiming to be providing 4G services over the band by mid-2016, using its existing infrastructure including over 13,000 towers.
The state operator plans to focus its rollout on areas with high commercial demand. The company has invited private companies to jointly develop 4G services over the spectrum.
TOT is seeking a private partner to operate services over its spectrum and infrastructure, and has reportedly shortlisted two potential candidates including operator AIS and the consortium Mobile LTE. AIS is said to be the favored of the two candidates.
With the move the operator is seeking to reinvent itself to compensate for the loss of revenue it had been earning under Thailand's old build-operate-transfer concession model. TOT also offers 3G services over the 2100-MHz band, but only has around 100,000 active 3G subscribers.