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DTAC expands network, sets record with doubled cell sites in a year

Aug 13. 2019
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By The Nation

DTAC has announced a network expansion plan to continue to add new cell sites for its 900 MHz and 700 MHz spectrum in 2019.

The company has also set a new Thai telecom industry record for fastest network expansion over a 12-month period and doubled its customer satisfaction score as a result.

The provider recently set the country’s record for the most cell sites (21,146) added over a year (July 2018  to June 2019). According to a report by the NBTC, the average number of new cell sites added by DTAC in 2017 and 2018 was 10,040 and 9,411 sites respectively, doubling its usual rate of expansion.

 “DTAC has rapidly added new cell sites nationwide to respond to customers’ growing demand for mobile internet connectivity. Our customers now consume approximately 400-500 MB per person per day,” said Prathet Tankuranun, the chief technology officer for Total Access Communication PLC or DTAC.

“To keep up with this growth, DTAC has been adding new cell sites at double our average yearly rate. The effects can be felt in our customer satisfaction surveys: DTAC doubled its score between January and July 2019. This is a good sign of improvements in all areas for DTAC.”

The company’s recent moves have resulted in an improved customer satisfaction score and fewer complaints. This is also confirmed in various test results that have been widely published. For instance, Telecomlover has noted that nPerf’s tests of cellular internet connections in Thailand in the first half of 2019 rated DTAC as the operator with the fastest download speeds at 21.04 Mbps, followed by other operators at 19.70 Mbps and 19.65 Mbps.

According to the French network performance measurement company, DTAC also has the highest success ratio for connectivity at 92.88 per cent, followed by other operators at 90.73 per cent and 90.37 per cent.

“Although customers are more satisfied with our network improvements, DTAC is far from perfect and we will never stop improving,” said Prathet in a release on Tuesday.

“In the fourth quarter of this year, we plan to use low-band 900 MHz frequency for mobile services. However, we must solve signal interference issues on 900 MHz spectrum first, which will require a strong collaboration between DTAC, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission [regulator] and other related parties in the telecom industry, such as operators who own adjacent frequency slots.

“We are confident that the signal interference issues will be solved and the 900 MHz spectrum will be in operation within the fourth quarter of 2019. DTAC plans to deploy 900 MHz together with 700 MHz, and we expect that the NBTC will allow us to officially start using the 700 MHz spectrum on October 1, 2020 or any other date specified by the NBTC. DTAC is confident that the low-band 700 MHz spectrum will significantly improve 4G services and enable better coverage as well as providing a path toward 5G,” said Prathet in the release.

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