Cable Thai Holding (CTH), a joint venture of around 345 local cable TV operators, has announced a project to deploy its own core switching network throughout Thailand to support up to 500 cable TV channels, up from 120 currently offered, and to enable the launch of broadband internet and voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) services. CTH also revealed plans to roll out fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connections in selected areas, introduce interactive TV features and begin reselling mobile services next year, Thai newspaper The Nation reports. The announcement comes after CTH last week acquired the broadcasting rights for English Premier League soccer matches for the next three years in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, dealing a significant blow to Thailand’s pay-TV leader True Visions, a division of quadruple-play telecoms group True Corp, which is expected to suffer revenue and satellite/cable customer losses after failing to renew its rights to the sports TV asset. CTH has some 3.5 million cable subscribers spread amongst its local partner operators, and is looking to significantly ramp up the subscriber base. CTH added that it has chosen FTTH technology so that subscribers can enjoy content and services on a high speed network outside of cabled areas, and has chosen Hewlett-Packard’s technology to build a metropolitan Ethernet network. Previously, CTH had claimed that it would build a new fibre-optic network by next February.
In July 2012 CTH signed an agreement with national fixed network operator TOT to rent the state-owned telco’s fibre-optic transmission infrastructure on a non-exclusive basis, to act as its core network serving its member cable TV operators nationwide, whilst the group builds out its own core fibre infrastructure. CTH was set up in 2009 by an initial group of around 100 cable TV operators to act as the supplier of content and programmes for members.