AIS launches Super WiFi
Advanced Info Service Plc (AIS) has rolled out what it calls the country's first commercial "Super WiFi" service.
The move is aimed at offloading its mobile data traffic from cellular to wireless networking and easing its spectrum congestion.
It is seen as a potentially positive way to address its spectrum shortage and provide fourth-generation (4G) mobile broadband services.
AIS has less bandwidth on the telecom spectrum than its two smaller rivals.
Pratthana Leelapanang, executive vice-president for marketing, said the introduction of Super WiFi was aimed at serving growing demand for mobile data throughput of up to 650 Mbps — the fastest speed offered in the country now.
"Our Super WiFi is faster than existing 4G services that provide an average speed of 150 Mbps," he said.
Mr Pratthana said AIS was providing 2,000 hotspots for Super WiFi in indoor areas — department stores, cinemas, universities, community malls and restaurant chains.
"We plan to increase the number of Super WiFi hotspots to 18,000 by year-end," he said.
AIS now has 30,000 WiFi locations and 2,000 Super WiFi hotspots.
AIS customers can use WiFi services via 70,000 WiFi locations of Jasmine International's 3BB networks nationwide in a mutual rental agreement.
True Corporation is the leader in the WiFi market, followed by Jasmine's 3BB and TOT Plc.
Mr Pratthana said 1.5 million AIS customers would be able to enjoy unlimited Super WiFi services from today as the company has automatically upgraded them to the new service platform with no additional fees.
Customers pay 500 baht a month for unlimited Super WiFi service.
AIS has set aside 40 billion baht for the expansion of its mobile and WiFi networks this year. It has 44 million mobile subscribers.
AIS shares (ADVANC) closed yesterday on the SET at 237 baht, down one baht, in heavy trade worth 1.38 billion baht.