Thailand’s ICT Ministry has ordered state telco TOT corporation to partner with AIS for its 3G network.
TOT currently holds AIS’ concession which ends in 2015. The state telco will negotiate with AIS based on re-use of existing infrastructure, towers so that TOT can survive a post-concession era.
TOT and AIS each have adjacent 15-MHz spectrum slots on 2.1 GHz, AIS having paid a premium in the auction last October to ensure its spectrum was next to TOT’s.
Meanwhile, the ICT Ministry has also announced plans for the 2013 one tablet per child project, doubling the number of tablets to 1.6 million.
This year’s project will tablets handed out to students entering primary education and also to those entering secondary education.
Unlike the 2012 project that turned into a G2G project with China and thus only Chinese companies could bid, this year will be open to bidders from within the country as well.
The Ministry has put aside a budget of $27 million (831 million baht) to expand its free WiFi service to around 200,000 hot spots this year. This budget does not include the Ministry of Education budget for WiFi to support the tablets.