Advanced Television

Thailand: Sat licence bid from National Telecom

August 10, 2021

By Chris Forrester

National Telecom (NT), the former Telephone Organisation of Thailand and TOT Corp, which merged earlier this year, are likely to bid for satellite orbital slots serving Thailand.

News emerged that NT would not be bidding for the licences (according to comments from Digital Economy and Society (DES) Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn).

Had that decision remained, it would have left the current incumbent satellite operator (Thaicom) as the sole bidder in an upcoming auction of spectrum and licences.

NT bought an entry bid on August 6th in the final hour of the pre-bidding process. Representatives from NT showed up at the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) to buy a bid envelope at around 4pm, briefly before the deadline of 4.30pm.

The auction will take place on August 28th. There are four satellite orbital slot packages up for auction.

  1. The 50.5°East and 51°E slots with a reserve price of 677 million baht (€17.23m)
  2. The 78.5°E position with a reserve price of 366.4 million baht
  3. The 119.5°E and 120°E with a reserve price of 393 million baht
  4. The 126°E and 142°E with a reserve price of 364.6 million baht

Meanwhile, Thaicom unveiled its latest Q2 results which showed a fall of 8.9 per cent in revenues (THB 796 million). Thaicom’s net loss for Q2 was THB 41 million, compared to a net profit of THB 498 million in the year-earlier period, as a result of declining revenues.

Utilisation for Thaicom’s satellites, Thaicom 6, Thaicom 7, and Thaicom 8 was 63.7 per cent in June, slightly up from 63.6 per cent in March. For the Thaicom 4 broadband satellite, the utilisation rate was 18.1 per cent, also up from 18 per cent in the previous quarter.

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