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Thailand's AIS May Walk Away from Spectrum Lease Agreement

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Thailand's AIS is reportedly getting cold feet over plans for a 4G network agreement with the state owned TOT, saying that it might not be worth the investment.

TOT is sitting on a block of unused radio spectrum that AIS would like to use for LTE services, and the two companies have been in talks so that AIS could rent the spectrum for a year.

However, TOT has now delayed the signing of the contract, which puts the whole deal in doubt.

TOT sits on a 5Mhz block of 2.1Ghz spectrum, and the two companies have been in talks since last year, and had been expected to sign a rental deal in January. There have however been concerns that the deal could be hit by legal challenges as there is some question as to whether TOT can resell its spectrum, or if such a deal would have to be arranged by the telecoms regulator.

TOT aims to earn around THB800 million (USD24.7 million) from the spectrum lease agreement.

"If TOT continues to put off signing a partnership contract after April, there are no good investment reasons to tell our shareholders why AIS has to ally with TOT while the national telecoms regulator plans to auction 4G licences in August," AIS chief executive Wichian Mektrakarn told the Bangkok Post.

Additional radio spectrum in the 1800Mhz blocks will be released in September following the auction.

On the web: Bangkok Post

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Tags: ais  tot  Thailand