AIS maintains 5G roll-out to industry for Thai economic revival Turning on 26 GHz spectrum and partnering SNC for pilot project in EEC

18 February 2021: Mr Somchai Lertsutiwong, Chief Executive Officer of Advanced Info Service Plc., (AIS) announced: "2021 continues to be a very challenging year for national economic progress. It is the obligation of every sector to join forces and overcome the crisis together. AIS, as a developer of Digital Infrastructure, is firmly committed to this role. This has been the case since launching AIS 5G in February 2020. We are the first operator to roll out 5G after the spectrum auction, which left AIS holding the most bandwidth in all of the low, middle and high bands, covering every usage application to global standards. Recently, we have been partnering with world-class device manufacturers to trial 5G solutions with partners in a range of industries, while concurrently investing in our network. Now we are the first operator to achieve 100% coverage in all 77 provinces. Our investment budgets for 2020 were 35 billion baht. In 2021, AIS has lined up network investment of 25-30 billion baht to develop both 4G and 5G networks, leveling up our robust smart digital infrastructure for the national benefit."

Today, AIS, through Advanced Wireless Networks Co., Ltd., (AWN), is the concessionaire for the 26 GHz spectrum (25.2-26.4 GHz), with payment made for the 26 GHz band of 5,719,150,000.00 baht (five billion, seven hundred and nineteen million, a hundred and fifty thousand baht only)(including Value Added Tax). AIS is now the only operator with 26 GHz spectrum in the high frequency band, and with the most bandwidth of up to 1200 MHz, now ready for service. The properties of the 26 GHz spectrum address the operational needs of the industrial sector in the following ways:

  • High frequency spectrum with the most bandwidth has the capability to support massive use, so the network has been installed with a focus on the site of each factory, to avoid concerns of signal interference.
  • The network can be designed to efficiently match with the different attributes of each factory.
  • Very low latency efficiently supports production line equipment in the factory.
  • High speed wireless data transmission rates, as if it was a fiber optic cable.
  • Easy and rapid installation of base stations with compact equipment.

Thus came about the opportunity to deploy the 26 GHz spectrum for service immediately, in line with government policy to upgrade the Thai industrial sector for overall economic recovery, by driving the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) project.

Throughout 2020, AIS has been joining forces with industry leaders such as Saha Pattana Inter Holdings, with whom it established the joint venture Saha Advanced Networks to develop ICT infrastructure and 5G technology, Amata Corporation for the development of Smart City, Bangkadi Industrial Park for the Smart Industrial Park, and Rojana Industrial Park to upgrade the manufacturing sector. There has also been collaboration with PTT to promote the deployment of 5G technology to innovate Unmanned solutions in the area of Wangchan Valley, Rayong. At latest the company has teamed up with SNC Former (SNC), a leading manufacturer of automotive components and electrical appliances in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). 5G technology has been deployed to increase manufacturing efficiency, while previous joint trials with the 26 GHz spectrum have been extremely successful. They are a prototype for upgrading the industrial sector to "digital industrial" in the future.

Dr Somchai Thaisa-nguanvorakul, Chairman of the EEC Industrial Forum, mentioned the deployment of 5G technology in the EEC. "The focus of the EEC Industrial Forum is our need to develop both human and digital resources. Leaders in the industrial and educational sectors have together linked up to make genuine and tangible progress. I am delighted that today, in the development of 5G technology, we are not inferior to any other nation, and this is the core of essential digital infrastructure for the industrial sector. This is particularly so in the EEC, which is a new motor for the economy, and part of operational plans to develop digital infrastructure to support the EEC. 5G technology is connected in the role of a Digital Industry Cluster, giving real time support for the manufacturing, tourism and agriculture sectors. For instance, there is the Autonomous Vehicle, High precision automatic industry, Services of smart logistics, the IoT and other Innovations, and management of transport, whether shipping or airports. This will drive the creation of new high-tech industries and improve the EEC's existing industrial base through joint research and development between the state sector, the private sector, universities and local communities. This in turn makes the EEC a high-potential investment for both Thai and global investors."

Mr Somchai Ngamkitcharoenlap, Executive Vice President of SNC Former Plc, commented, "For many years now, SNC Former, as a manufacturer of automotive components and electrical appliances, has been dedicated to improving the flexibility of manufacturing systems in a rapidly changing environment. Especially in 2020, the Thai industrial sector has been greatly impacted by Covid-19. For this reason, technology has a key role in keeping businesses connected for operational continuity. AIS is a leading national partner equipped to provide digital infrastructure and 5G technology in particular, which appropriately address the manufacturing sector's requirements. There are currently three core applications: 1. 5G AGV: using 5G to control and operate Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) which transport parts to production line, and between factories efficiently. They make production more effective and increase productivity. 2. 5G Smart Robot: using 5G to control and operate industrial robots used in the production line such as Press, Brazing, CNC, Heat & Cool and the assembly line. 5G technology is there to reduce human error and promote safety, by reducing workplace accidents. 3. 5G Active Dashboard uses 5G to connect Servers with Machines, to enable monitoring of various production processes. This boosts efficiency of the production process, which turns our factory into a true Smart Factory."

After payment for the 26 GHz spectrum, and today having received the license, AIS now holds 5G spectrum in all three bands: 700 MHz, 2600 MHz and 26 GHz. Counting only the spectra to be used to provide 5G service, these total 1330 MHz. When combined with existing spectra, which are already the most, AIS remains number one for most spectra in the industry providing service of 3G, 4G and 5G, totaling 1420 MHz (not including spectra from cooperation with business partners). These are now being deployed for the long-term benefit of the Thai people and the industrial sector. Most recently, the quality of AIS' network has been endorsed by Ookla® Speedtest®, a globally renowned internet speed benchmarking service provider, which has rated the company's 5G and 4G networks as the fastest in Thailand.


*10 MHz of the 700 MHz band is scheduled to be received by April 2021, or when stipulated by the NBTC