TOT sets out plan to expand broadband network by a million lines

18 Sep 2007

State-run incumbent PSTN operator TOT has hatched a plan to expand its broadband internet subscriber base in all regions of Thailand by inviting four private telcos to invest in last mile infrastructure, which it would then lease, reports the Bangkok Post. The project would involve each private company rolling out 250,000 fixed lines with ADSL ports in an allocated zone of the country, and would require investment of around THB400 million (USD12.5 million) each, or THB1,600 per port. TOT would lease lines at THB100 per port per month, whilst charging retail subscribers THB590 a month. The plan also stipulates that TOT must invest an additional THB2 billion towards the expansion. TOT board spokesman Djit Laowattana said the state enterprise’s financial committee had endorsed the plan in principle, and predicted that the expanded network could earn TOT THB3 billion a year, with private investors seeing a return on their investment in two years. TOT currently has an estimated 350,000 broadband customers, largely in provincial areas. Market leader True Corp has over 500,000 subscribers, and over three-quarters of the Bangkok market. True and other private sector operators including TT&T and ADC have recently set up subsidiaries to roll out wholly owned networks outside of their legacy build-transfer-operate (BTO) concessions, which restricted them to certain regions and forced them to share a hefty slice of revenues with a state-owned BTO ‘host’, either TOT or sister company CAT.

Thailand, TOT