Singtel is increasing its investment in Intouch Holdings, the parent company of Thai carrier AIS.
Singapore-based telecommunications operator Syntel is expanding its partnership with Thai operator Advanced Info Services (AIS) through a new investment in Syntel Global Investment.
In a release, Syntel said that its subsidiary acquired about 121 million shares of Temasek from Anderton Investments for S $ 330 million ($ 237.5 million), increasing its stake in Intouch Holdings from 21.21% to 24.99%.
Singtel is one of the two largest shareholders in Intech with Gulf Energy. Through a new investment in Intouch, which is the parent company of AIS, Singtel will increase its economic interest in the Thai career.
Syntel Group CEO Yuan Quan Moon said: “Intach is delivering good returns, backed by consistently strong performance from AIS in one of the most lucrative markets in the region. Our increased investment deepens our partnership with Gulf Energy, Intouch’s largest shareholder, and is part of a strategy to actively recoup capital for growth and investment for shareholder returns. At the same time, it demonstrates our confidence in AIS’s potential to build its position as a mobile operator of choice and become a leader in digital and enterprise services. ”
Syntel noted that Thailand’s digital economy will almost double in four years from US $ 30 billion in 2021 to US $ 56 billion in 2025. In addition, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission has announced its intention to enhance telecommunications infrastructure and create 5G technology. An ecosystem connecting government agencies and the private sector as part of the Thailand 4.0 Digital Transformation Initiative.
Syntel, AIS and Gulf Energy are collaborating to build and develop data centers in Thailand, one of ASEAN’s three largest data center markets.
Syntel added that the transaction is expected to be completed by the end of June 2022.
Earlier this month, Chinese retailer ZTE announced that it had signed a comprehensive cooperation agreement with AIS. Under the terms of the agreement, ZTE will be AIS’s strategic partner to upgrade to key technologies such as 5G.
In addition, AIS and ZTE will launch a 5G innovation center as a research collaboration and joint 5G innovation hub for both infrastructure and solutions. The 5G research center is expected to be completed by the third quarter of this year.
AIS is currently focusing on expanding its 5G network to cover 77 provinces in Thailand. Carrier’s 5G network has now reached 78% of the population, with the goal of reaching 85% by the end of this year.
AIS Spectrum won the auction using 5G NSA (non-standalone) service in February 2020 using 700 MHz, 2.6 GHz and 26 GHz bandwidth, followed by 5G SA in July 2020 in collaboration with Huawei.
AIS’s subscriber base has reached about 44.6 million subscribers, including 2.8 million 5G subscribers, representing 6.3% of its total user base. AIS has already set up about 20,000 5G base stations across the country.
In July 2021, AIS partnered with Chinese smartphone maker Vivo to test 5G standalone (SA) networks in Thailand.