TOT to partner with Softbank for LTE

Don Sambandaraksa
telecomasia.net
Thailand’s state-owned telco TOT has announced plans to launch 2.3-GHz LTE in cooperation with Japan’s Softbank.
 
The network will use TOT’s existing block 64 MHz of 2.3-GHz spectrum. But a new licence will need to be sought from the regulator, as the current licence allows TOT to run only basic telephony services over it.
 
Acting CEO Montchai Noosong said that the LTE network would also be used for mobile backhaul. He said that this partnership would be the first of many tie-ups with Japan’s number two mobile operator.
 
Montchai said that the expansion of TOT’s current 3G network is still stuck because of an inability to source masts to install the equipment. No decisions could be made as TOT currently lacks a functioning board following the mass resignation last month.
 
To date only 3,000 of the planned 5,320 base stations have been installed.
 
Softbank EVP Junichi Miyakawa said the partnership was the first of an expansion drive focused on Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, all countries with excellent growth prospects.
 
He said that TOT would be Softbank’s sole partner in Thailand, as it was a good fit with both companies offering both fixed line broadband and mobile services.
 

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