AIS inks deal to build solar-powered basestations in remote areas of Thailand

AIS signed an agreement with a subsidiary of Gulf Energy development to build 20 solar-powered off-grid basestations in remote areas of Thailand in a transaction worth about 23.27 million Thai baht (US$632.14 million).

Gigi Onag, Senior Editor, APAC

June 18, 2024

2 Min Read
AIS inks deal to build solar-powered basestations in Thailand's remote areas
(Source: Gulf Energy Development)

Thai mobile operator AIS has entered into an agreement with a subsidiary of Gulf Energy Development to build solar-powered off-grid basestations to extend its network coverage to remote areas of Thailand while reducing electricity costs.

In a stock exchange filing on Friday (June 14), AIS disclosed that its board of directors approved a procurement and construction agreement with Gulf1 Company for off-grid solar projects that involve a total of 20 basestation sites. Expected to be completed by the end of 2024, the solar power deal is valued at approximately 23.27 million Thai baht (US$632.14 million).

The mobile operator said in its filing that the solar power projects will allow the company to expand its network to new and remote areas that are currently out of coverage.

"Additionally, it aligns with AIS' sustainable business direction aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing renewable energy usage," the company said in its stock exchange filing.

AIS' sustainable business initiative targets to increase the proportion of renewable energy by 501.23 MWh per year and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 300.03 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) annually. AIS has set a goal of increasing renewable energy usage to 5% of total energy consumption.

Getting highland solar networks off the ground

In an earlier press statement released June 8, Gulf Energy Development said its project of delivering solar-powered electricity and solar-powered cellular basestations – in collaboration with AIS and the Highland Research and Development Institute (HRDI) – will initially kick off in Ban Dok Mai Sod community and Moko Poke community in Tha Song Yang district, Tak province.

The three partners aim to progressively extend the project to other remote areas that lack electricity and reliable telecommunications infrastructure.

"To address the communication challenges faced by these communities, Gulf Energy Development joined forces with AIS in a collaboration aimed at bridging the digital gap while simultaneously providing clean energy solutions. These projects strive to mitigate disparities, bolster education and career development, and elevate public health services, all in pursuit of a low-carbon future," Theerathiphisa Tawichpasoot, chief operating officer at Gulf Energy Development, said in a press release.

Gulf Energy is one of Thailand's largest private power producers and holds a controlling stake in InTouch Holdings, the parent company of AIS. InTouch Holdings has a 40.44% stake in Thailand's second largest mobile operator.

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About the Author(s)

Gigi Onag

Senior Editor, APAC, Light Reading

Gigi Onag is Senior Editor, APAC, Light Reading. She has been a technology journalist for more than 15 years, covering various aspects of enterprise IT across Asia-Pacific.

She started with regional IT publications under CMP Asia (now Informa), including Asia Computer Weekly, Intelligent Enterprise Asia and Network Computing Asia and Teledotcom Asia. This was followed by stints with Computerworld Hong Kong and sister publications FutureIoT and FutureCIO. She had contributed articles to South China Morning Post, TechTarget and PC Market among others.

She interspersed her career as a technology editor with a brief sojourn into public relations before returning to journalism, joining the editorial team of Mix Magazine, a MICE publication and its sister publication Business Traveller Asia Pacific.

Gigi is based in Hong Kong and is keen to delve deeper into the region’s wide wild world of telecoms.

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