Thailand’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES), and related units, are planning to establish two companies to boost the provision of broadband services to the public and governmental units, in accordance with the Cabinet’s resolution on 13 June. According to the National News Bureau of Thailand, the new state enterprises will be named the National Broadband Network Company (NBN) and the Neutral Gateway and Data Center Company (NGDC). Both companies will provide and manage internet access and related equipment to satisfy the nation’s growing demand. The companies will be registered later this month, and are expected to be operational by November.
In other news, state-backed telco TOT has stated that it plans to upgrade its existing basic fixed lines to the IP standard by 2025, in a bid to offset the downturn in demand for fixed line services. Anurut Uthairat, TOT’s senior executive vice-president for fixed line services, told the Bangkok Post that the upgrade will enable TOT to double its fixed line ARPU, to THB400 (USD12) per subscriber. The network transformation plan will form part of TOT’s strategic roadmap after the end of True Corporation’s fixed line concession in the Bangkok Metropolitan Area (BMA) on 29 Oct this year.
Finally, the Bangkok Post has reported that the BMA will take over TOT’s job of pipeline construction for moving overhead telecom and broadcasting cables underground in Bangkok. The government seeks to relocate all overhead electricity wires and telecom broadcasting cables on 39 roads in Bangkok, Samut Prakan and Nonthaburi underground by 2020, but TOT has proven ill-suited to the task. The BMA will charge telecom and broadcasting operators a rental pipeline fee of THB18,000 per kilometre per month – the same rate previously set by TOT.