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Thai AIS to spend about US$200m on broadband network in 2016

[BANGKOK] Thailand's largest mobile operator Advanced Info Service Pcl (AIS) said on Friday it plans to invest 7 billion baht (S$268.93 million) this year to expand its fixed broadband network to serve 6.5 million households by the end of 2016.

AIS, 23 per cent owned by Singapore Telecommunications Ltd, aims to be one of the leading high-speed broadband internet providers over the next three to five years, Siraphop Paphatthananan, investor relations' official at AIS, said at a quarterly earnings briefing.

Thailand's broadband penetration is expected to rise to 50 per cent of households by 2020 from 30 per cent in 2015 when 20.6 million households connected to fixed high-speed internet, Mr Siraphop said.

True Corp is the market leader in the high-speed broadband market and runs the country's third largest mobile network.

The fixed broadband business is part AIS's drive to become a full service telecoms provider, and the company will focus on digital content to help boost data usage to offset falling revenue from voice services, Mr Siraphop said.

AIS won a licence in May to operate a fourth-generation (4G) mobile phone network, in the last of a series of government spectrum auctions. It was the only bidder, and is paying about US$2.12 billion for the spectrum.

REUTERS