AIS makes 5G move with 2600MHz slots
Advanced Info Service (AIS) says it will switch on the country's first 5G mobile network on the 2600-megahartz band after making the first instalment payment on Friday for the spectrum won at this week's auction.
The leading mobile operator by subscribers secured 10 licences on the 2600MHz range at the auction for a total of 19.5 billion baht. Arch rival True Move H Universal Communication (TUC) snapped up nine licences for a total of 17.9 billion baht on the same band.
On the 2600MHz range, winning bidders are obliged to pay 10% of the total winning price as the first instalment payment. After the payment, they will receive the licences.
AIS needs to pay about 2 billion baht, plus present a bank guarantee for the rest of payment, today.
An industry source said AIS will make the payment at 9am today and receive the licences at 2pm. AIS notified the media that it would hold a news conference upon launching the first 5G network in the country.
Meanwhile, a source at the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission said Total Access Communication (DTAC) also plans to pay for two licences of the 26-gigahertz range it won for a total 910 million baht today.
The two slots on the range obtained by DTAC are adjacent to the 28GHz range that is compatible with devices and platforms in accordance with the global 5G standard. This makes it easier for DTAC to import 28GHz-enabled devices to use on the 26GHz spectrum slots won.
The 26GHz licence payment must be completed within the first year.
On the same range, AIS and TUC won 12 and eight licences, respectively, but the slots are still unavailable for 5G service because development of compatible devices and equipment needs to be completed.
The 5G roll-out on the 26GHz band is expected to take place next year.
Meanwhile, TUC has yet to finalise when the first instalment payment for the 2600MHz licences it won will be made.
TUC on Thursday kicked off its promotional campaign with five brand ambassadors to promote 5G services.
Kittipong Veerataecha, chief brand and communications officer for TUC, said the new services are not only about network and speed, but also "genius" technologies that will upgrade living standards.
This campaign began broadcasting on Thursday on TV and is available via YouTube and other online media.