True Corp, Thailand’s second-largest telecom operator with a 30% market share of the country’s mobile network, has selected China’s ZTE’s 5G RAN products and services to build a commercial 5G network in Thailand.
ZTE will provide True with a series of products, including 5G 64TR/32TR/8TR/4TR macro stations and single-band/multi-band indoor QCell, to build a full-scale and high-performance tri-band 5G network across the 700MHz, 2.6GHz and 26GHz bandwidths.
Since 2019, True and ZTE have been trialing multiple 5G products, including 3.5GHz 64-channel Massive MIMO, 2.6GHz 64-channel Massive MIMO and 2.6GHz QCell.
In the 5G spectrum auction conducted in February, True clinched 17 out of 48 licences that were made available.
Over the past year, 5G trials in Thailand include a smart airport initiative. Huawei had also successfully tested 5G technologies in Covid-19 diagnosis services at the Siriraj and Ramathibodi hospitals.
The race to bring commercial 5G to users in Asia-Pacific is heating up – in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic – with successful 5G launches in South Korea, China, Australia and Japan. Besides Thailand, 5G pilot tests are also running in Singapore and Malaysia.
Market researcher GlobalData expects countries in Asia-Pacific to take up the majority or 65% of global 5G subscriptions by 2024.
Thailand is expected to be the first ASEAN country to have a commercial 5G network in 2020, a vision the government has set forth in the country’s 4.0 industrialisation initiative.
The country aims to be a cutting-edge digital hub in the region, and to that end is funding low earth orbit (LEO) satellites and expanding its submarine cable capacities to create a better digital infrastructure.