AIS and SPI sign on for fibre optics, ICT

AIS and SPI sign on for fibre optics, ICT

EEC and industrial parks getting 5G

Mr Somchai, left, and Mr Vichai believe the strengths of the two partners can be applied to related vertical industries.
Mr Somchai, left, and Mr Vichai believe the strengths of the two partners can be applied to related vertical industries.

Advanced Info Service (AIS) and Saha Pathana Inter-Holding (SPI) signed a joint venture on Monday to develop a fibre-optics network and ICT infrastructure in the latter's four industrial parks, supporting a 5G backbone in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).

The joint venture, called Saha Advance Network Company (SAN), was established with authorised capital of 300,000 shares in the amount of 30 million baht.

Advanced Broadband Network Co (ABN), a subsidiary of AIS, holds 70% of SAN's shares, representing an investment of 21 million baht. SPI holds a 30% stake, representing an investment of 9 million baht.

AIS chief executive Somchai Lertsutiwong said SAN will provide a fibre-optic network and ICT infrastructure in SPI's four industrial parks, which are located in the Sri Racha district of Chon Buri, Kabin Buri district in Prachin Buri, the Muang district of Lamphun and Mae Sot district of Tak.

The four industrial parks cover 7,255 rai, home to 112 factories.

The move highlights the strong partnership between the two companies in "utilising digital infrastructure to enhance industrial estate areas and reinforce our commitment to boosting 5G tech collectively to help Thailand recover," said Mr Somchai.

He said AIS had three options to develop digital infrastructure in industrial estates.

First, AIS could set up infrastructure and pay a rental fee to the estates, then collect service charges from factories in the estates. Second, AIS could forge a partnership deal with the estates under a revenue-sharing scheme. Lastly, AIS could form a joint venture with the estate, which is the option AIS chose.

SPI is a holding company for Saha Group, Thailand's leading consumer product conglomerate. SPI has a plan to develop four industrial parks to become smart industrial parks.

Mr Somchai said SPI has potential in industrial estate development.

SAN, he said, would play a crucial role in helping Thailand recover and make the country's industrial sector competitive on the global stage.

SAN plans to use the strengths of the two partners to create solutions that can be applied to related vertical industries, said Mr Somchai.

AIS launched the nation's first 5G network slicing technology this month. The technology allows a network to be designed for each layer with consistency and flexibility, allowing adaptations for industries and specialities.

This technology should benefit factories in SPI's four industrial estates, he said.

AIS indicated earlier it plans to invest 35-40 billion baht to develop digital infrastructure this year.

SPI president Vichai Kulsomphob said once 5G tech is applied in estates, factories are likely to enjoy a manufacturing cost reduction, tallying 5 billion baht, starting from next year.

He said 5G tech would be implemented via several operational management solutions and could even be applied to factories' new product lines in estates.

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