Thai state-owned telco CAT Telecom has begun construction of additional submarine cables worth THB2.7 billion (USD85 million) in the Gulf of Thailand, and expects the project to be completed this year, reports Future Gov Asia. The previously announced cable building programme is aimed at adding data bandwidth capacity and connectivity between the southern and central parts of the country as well as meeting the international data transmission demands of Thailand and other countries in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).
CAT also this week issued an annual revenue forecast for its domestic broadband division of THB6.5 billion, well below an original target of THB7.5 billion, because of delays in rolling out its fibre-optic ‘On Net’ branded services in ten provinces and greater Bangkok. CAT had forecast that On Net would contribute THB500 million in sales in the capital and another THB500 million in the provinces this year. It now expects to launch the service in ten provinces in the fourth quarter and in Bangkok next year, due to revisions to the capital’s fibre pilot project which require state approval.
In another broadband project, CAT is investing THB220 million to deploy around 20,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots in public areas throughout the country by the end of this year, as part of a national ICT improvement programme overseen by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology. Around six months into the project, CAT reports that it has so far provided 350 free hotspots at schools, hospitals, temples and bus terminals.