By USANEE Mongkolporm MONGKOLPORN
ADVANCED INFO Service and Total Access Communication (DTAC) will share some of their telecommunication towers to strengthen their nationwide service. The companies will jointly disclose details of the plan tomorrow.
A DTAC source said it urgently needed network facilities to expand its broadband wireless service. This follows the Central Administrative Court’s injunction in May as requested by CAT Telecom to prohibit DTAC from providing further network sharing by installing or connecting the equipment it operates under CAT’s concession agreement with the third- and fourth-generation equipment of other telecoms.
Currently, the subsidiary DTAC TriNet (DTN), which operates a 3G service on the 2.1-gigahertz spectrum under a licence from the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), is the main customer of DTAC’s network under the CAT concession.
DTAC filed an appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court in June requesting revocation of this injunctive relief order, so the company could continue expanding its 3G and 4G networks on 2.1GHz, and sharing them with other operators.
DTAC argued that this infrastructure-sharing prohibition seriously restricted the right of mobile-phone users of 2.1GHz operators nationwide to gain access to the existing infrastructure of DTAC, and is against the rights that the law actually affords to them.
DTAC now has around 12,000 telecom towers, of which more than 8,000 are under its concession contracts with CAT, while the rest belong to DTN.
An Advanced Info Service source said AIS, DTAC and True had signed a memorandum of understanding on infrastructure sharing after obtaining 2.1GHz licences from the NBTC in late 2013.
AIS has 20,000 telecom towers, of which 13,198 are in an ownership dispute with its concession owner TOT, while the rest belong to AIS subsidiary Advanced Wireless Network.
Late last year, DTN signed an agreement with the True Telecommunications Growth Infrastructure Fund (TRUEGIF) for the initial lease of more than 100 telecom towers from the fund, in order to expand its 3G wireless broadband coverage.
As of the second quarter, DTAC had 23.5 million subscribers on its 2.1GHz licensed network, representing 87 per cent of its total subscribers.