Alcatel-Lucent is paving the way for LTE in Thailand by constructing the country's first 100G optical network, local operator DTAC said Tuesday.
The company started rolling out the network in Thai capital Bangkok, and will expand the network to other parts of the country through the remainder of 2014. DTAC plans to use the optical network to upgrade its current 3G network, and lay the foundations for the rollout of LTE services in the future.
DTAC plans to offer LTE coverage to 40 per cent of Thailand's population, as it seeks to tap growing demand for mobile data in the country.
Panya Vechbanyongratana, SVP of DTAC's network operations division, said the 100G network is the first of its kind in Thailand, and will enable the operator "to offer our expanding roster of customers, and especially smartphone users, the best possible service."
The DTAC executive added that the network will also enable a "smooth and cost-effective transition to 4G when the time is right."
Alcatel-Lucent's Thailand president and managing director, Sebastian Laurent, said the new network is "allowing DTAC to greatly expand the capacity of its network and improve customer experience". The network also offers an upgrade path to "400G speeds down the road," he noted.
The infrastructure company said the new network will help DTAC achieve its goal of growing subscriber numbers by 6 per cent per year, and of serving the large number of foreign tourists that visit the country each year.
Thailand's mobile subscriptions exceed the national population--93 million subscribers compared to 68.4 million people. Domestic data subscriptions grew 17 per cent in 2013, Alcatel-Lucent said.
Asia Pacific is providing rich pickings for Alcatel-Lucent and its western rivals Ericsson and NSN, as operators there begin to deploy LTE networks.
All three companies recently picked up lucrative LTE rollout contracts in China, while Ericsson also secured deals in Taiwan and Thailand early April.
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