AIS reveals big plans for 5G, broadband and enterprise evolution

AIS reveals big plans for 5G, broadband and enterprise evolution

Thai operator Advanced Info Services (AIS) unveiled on Monday its evolution strategy for its 5G, fiber and enterprise businesses that focuses on intelligent infrastructure, cross-industry collaboration and sustainability.

At a press event Monday, AIS CEO Somchai Lertsutiwong said that the operator’s plans for intelligent infrastructure include evolving its 5G network into a so-called “living network”, which here means customers can control and design their own data use cases. Somchai said AIS will launch this feature next month.

Somchai said AIS’ 5G evolution plan also includes its recently announced collaboration with state-owned National Telecom (NT) to build a shared 5G network using the 700-MHz band. AIS and NT have also signed a deal to facilitate seamless roaming between their respective mobile networks.

On the fixed broadband side, AIS will leverage infrastructure from Triple T Broadband (which operates under the brand name 3BB) to enhance broadband access to over 13 million households. That includes the introduction of Wi-Fi 7 routers in partnership with TP-Link. According to Intel, Wi-Fi 7 (a.k.a. 802.11be) can hit a theoretical peak downlink speed of almost 5.8 Gbps.

Whether AIS will be able to bundle its fixed and mobile broadband services remains to be seen. AIS struck a deal to acquire 3BB in July 2022. While the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) approved the merger in principle, it has not yet reviewed the plan in detail or offered any market remedies that might be required to preserve fair competition and protect consumers.

Meanwhile, AIS is also beefing up its enterprise infrastructure and platforms with offerings such as CPaaS (Communication Platform as a Service) and its private 5G offering, AIS Paragon, backed by 5G, fibre, edge computing, cloud, and software application networks.

Somchai highlighted the importance of cross-industry collaboration in the company’s enterprise strategy.

“We are leveraging the strengths of our partners, such as a partnership with Krung Thai Bank (KTB) to implement a platform connecting Tungngern and Thong Fa (Blue Flag) retailers, comprising over 1.8 million small traders, mom and pop stores and street food vendors nationwide,” he said.

Somchai also said AIS is working with ZTE to roll out cloud PC services for enterprises, and collaborating with Microsoft to offer Microsoft Teams Phone, which enables enterprise employees to make and receive calls to external numbers through the Teams interface.

On the sustainability front, Somchai said, “We are also focused on building a green network for the environment, by managing with innovation. For instance, we have implemented AI technology in network towers to manage energy use in line with customer load.”

AIS’ sustainability strategy also involves increased use of renewable energy such as solar and wind, as well as educating customers about electronic waste, he said.

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