True gives up on CAT, opts for direct international links

16 Feb 2007

The Bangkok Post reports that True Internet Gateway, the broadband subsidiary of Thai fixed line operator True Corp, has abandoned negotiations to connect with state-run incumbent operator CAT Telecom’s international internet gateway (IIG), and instead plans to build direct links with overseas providers. CAT has rejected True’s request to link with its gateway, a move that True says could be in violation of the country’s telecoms regulations. True Internet Gateway expects to double its investment costs as a result of the situation, mainly for its own backup IIG facilities to cover outages. The company obtained a ‘type 2’ IIG licence in May 2006, and has so far invested THB300 million (USD9 million) in rolling out new backbone infrastructure. Although CAT remains the sole gateway for local internet connections, the regulator the NTC has temporarily allowed private operators to lease bandwidth from international providers other than CAT on a trial basis for three months, starting 6 February. True Internet is currently connecting with the gateways of Malaysian and Singaporean providers. CAT reportedly charges THB24,000 per megabit per month, compared with an average THB15,000 for a direct link with international providers. Total outages of IIG in Thailand added up to 230 hours last year, up from 138 hours in 2005 and 63 hours in 2004, far exceeding the international standard rate of eight hours per year.

Thailand, CAT Telecom, True Corp