Thailand’s dtac has selected Finnish telecoms company Nokia as its 5G RAN partner, ensuring that the company’s network performance is 5G-ready, with deployment expected to start later in the year with completion forecasted by 2022.
Nokia has been in Thailand for over 30 years with the deployment of 2G, 3G and 4G networks and will now provide 5G connectivity that will support the country’s efforts to digitize as part of its “Thailand 4.0” economic strategy.
The deal – which will last for three years – is an extension of Nokia’s existing partnership with the Thai mobile operator and will be covering the North and North Eastern regions of Thailand, as demand for fifth generation of mobile networks gradually increases.
The partnership will see an accelerated large-scale deployment of 5G on low-band spectrum (700-900Mhz) and high-capacity mmWave technology (26GHz), as well as enhancements of the existing networks utilizing 2300MHz, 2100MHz and 1800MHz spectrum.
In parallel, Nokia will provide its AirScale Radio Access solutions for 4G and 5G networks that will improve overall network performance while enabling dtac to deliver 5G experience with ultra-low latency and extreme capacity.
AirScale Radio Access is an industry-first commercial 5G solution enabling operators to capitalize early on 5G. The deal includes digital deployment for faster time to market, as well as optimization services.
“We are delighted to extend our long-standing partnership with dtac in Thailand and be the first vendor to partner with the operator in the 5G era. Our AirScale portfolio offers a clear migration path to 5G and we look forward to supporting dtac with its efforts to deliver compelling 5G experiences to subscribers,” Tommi Uitto, president of Mobile Networks at Nokia, said in a statement.
Dtac will also deploy Nokia Software’s NetAct Cloud network management system, which delivers cloud-agnostic, best-in-class tools for troubleshooting, administration, software management and configuration management.
“We have made a commitment to never stop improving our network, and our strategy is focused on delivering better data experience for the many, not for the few. 5G-ready Massive MIMO is currently being deployed to provide higher capacity 3x better data experience on 4G network to meet the real needs of all customers. Dtac will meet those needs in the cities, in rural areas, on both existing and future devices. Our goal is to connect all customers to what matters most,” Prathet Tankuranun, Chief Technology Officer at dtac, said in a statement.
According to Tankuranun, Massive MIMO will be a transformative technology in the years to come, with the company assessing vendors based on technical quality, ability to innovate and modernize the network, commercial terms and conditions, as well as security evaluation.