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Ericsson Gets Mobile Broadband Contract From Thailand’s DTAC

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STOCKHOLM -(Dow Jones)- Swedish network equipment vendor Telefon AB L.M. Ericsson (ERIC) said Wednesday it has received a contract to modernize the networks of DTAC, Thailand’s second-largest operator, ahead of an expected data traffic surge in the country.

Under the contract, Ericsson said it will upgrade DTAC’s nation-wide second- generation (2G) network to allow for mobile broadband services based on third- generation (3G) and fourth-generation (4G) technology, adding that it will also manage the new network during the first year of operation.

The upgrade will allow for better smartphone performance and faster web browsing and downloads, Ericsson said.

The contract may be worth around 1 billion Swedish kronor ($153 million) for Ericsson over a period of three to five years, Joacim Damgard, President of Ericsson Thailand, told Dow Jones Newswires.

DTAC, which is controlled by Norwegian operator Telenor ASA (TEL.OS), has around 20 million subscribers. According to Telenor, the Thai operator had a subscription market share of around 30% in the third quarter 2010.

DTAC will start rolling out the new networks in the current year, said Damgard, starting in big cities like Bangkok.

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