DTAC eyes mobile data with widest 4G bandwidth
Total Access Communication (DTAC) has announced the roll-out of what it calls the industry's widest spectrum bandwidth to provide commercial fourth-generation (4G) service next month as it seeks to hasten its move into the lucrative mobile data market.
The country's second largest mobile operator plans to commercially launch 4G service on 10 megahertz of bandwidth on the 1800-MHz spectrum that falls under the 2G concession.
The development came after DTAC got the green light from CAT Telecom, the concession owner, and the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission to provide 4G services on the bandwidth portion of the 1800-MHz spectrum.
DTAC started providing 4G services on the 5-MHz bandwidth of the 2100-MHz spectrum under the licensing contract in February.
True Move, Thailand's first provider to launch 4G service, is providing 4G on the 10-MHz bandwidth of the 2100-MHz spectrum.
"We now have the largest amount of bandwidth providing 4G services," said Prathet Tankuranun, DTAC's chief technology officer.
"We aim to increase our 4G subscribers to 2.5 million this year, up from the current 1.6 million," he said.
Mr Prathet said competition in the local 4G market was expected to intensify from next month, as the planned 4G spectrum auctions are scheduled to take place in November. DTAC plans to introduce attractive promotional tariff packages coming up with a greater variety of affordable 4G smartphones priced from 1,300-2,000 baht.
"With the largest amount of bandwidth, we can provide highly efficient and flexible 4G services," he said.
DTAC has 24,000 3G base stations plus 3,000 4G bases.
"We aim to increase the number of 3G base stations to 27,000 and 4G stations to 5,000 next year," he added.
Mr Prathet said the number of DTAC subscribers using 5 Gbps per month in the first half of the year doubled from last year.
The average data usage per DTAC customer is 2-3 Gbps a month, said Mr Prathet.
DTAC spent 500 million baht to set up a network analytic system, enabling the company to forecast mobile usage trends, automate network management and provide real-time information to better understand and meet customers' needs.
The 500-million-baht spending was part of the 20 billion baht the company earmarked for this year.
DTAC has 28.4 million subscribers. Of the total, 3.5 million are 2G users, 1.6 million are 4G customers and the rest are 3G subscribers.