Thai state-owned telco TOT and broadcasting group MCOT have been issued 15-year licences to operate as network facility providers by the broadcasting committee of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), The Nation reports. TOT’s licence means it can utilise its 48 telecom-relay sites for terrestrial digital TV (DTT) broadcasting as ‘gap fillers’ in areas with weak TV signals. MCOT is licensed to manage its 31 transmission sites, which are currently partly used for analogue TV broadcasting, under a plan to use its existing broadcasting towers for digital TV. Natee Sukonrat, chairman of the broadcasting committee, said that both companies would pay the regulator 2% of gross income from providing the facilities to digital TV network operators, plus another 2% for the NBTC’s research and development fund.
Broadcasting network facility provider licences for other state agencies including TOT’s sister telco CAT and the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) are in the pipeline.