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Thailand - Internet, Broadband Services, Broadcasting and Forecasts

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Thailand - Internet, Broadband Services, Broadcasting and Forecasts

Thailand has started to energetically embrace the internet in its many forms across the marketplace. Over the last decade, the estimated number of internet users in the country has increased more than fourfold. ISPs have recovered from their earlier reputation for unreliable performance and a failure to invest in improved infrastructure; and the government has been fixing the regulatory regime. A generally improved commercial environment has presented increased opportunities for the development of the internet in Thailand. After a period of heavy dependence on dial-up, the country has finally been making a strong push into broadband services. There have also been changes in the wireless broadband market with the early 3G wireless networks offering expanded internet access. This process will continue with the roll-out of more 3G networks followed by 4G/LTE. More work needs to be done on the regulatory front, however, and any slowdown on market reform will be a major setback to the development of internet in Thailand. This report looks at the Thai internet market and the rollout of broadband services, as well as providing some information on the major players involved. It also includes scenario forecasts for internet subscribers.

The report takes a brief look at the TV broadcasting industry in Thailand. As with the telecom industry, the broadcasting market had been waiting for a new regulator to be put in place. After much prevaricating, in 2011 the government finally established the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission. This new body has already started a new licensing regime for broadcasters. There is also information in this report on developments in Thailand's IPTV market.

Key developments:

the one tablet per child (OTPC) project initiated by the government, with one million Android tablets being distributed to school students in 2012;
the government committed to another 1.7 million tablets in 2013;
the government had also initiated a nationwide free WiFi hotspot project under the auspices of the MICT;
early steps were taken by True and CAT Telecom to introduce cloud computing platforms;
Thailand's lese majeste laws were resulting in an increased number of prosecutions as opinions posted online ran into problems with the law;
internet traffic was forecast to triple in 2013, driven by the launch of mobile broadband services;
the NBTC authorised a digital TV trial and was preparing draft regulations for digital TV licences;
the NBTC issued cable and satellite pay TV operator licences of up to 15-year duration;
the NBTC launched the bidding process for digital TV licences in September 2013, with plans to auction 24 licences in late 2013/early 2014;
the IPTV market was continuing to position itself to grow substantially in the coming years;
market newcomer Cable Thai Holding (CTH) was establishing itself as a cable TV operator, but signalled its intention to expand into other areas.

Companies covered in this report include:

TOT Corp; CAT Telecom; True Corp; True Move; TT&T; AIS; DTAC; Hutchison CAT; Jasmine; Samart; ShinSat/Thaicom; Cable Thai (CTH).

1. Synopsis
2. Internet market
2.1 Overview
2.2 One Tablet Per Child (OTPC) project
2.3 Lese majeste laws
2.4 Cloud services
2.5 Internet statistics
2.6 Forecasts
2.6.1 Overview
2.6.2 Forecasts internet subscribers 2015; 2020
2.7 ISP market
2.7.1 Overview
2.7.2 Market restructuring
2.8 Thailand's internet gateway exchanges
2.8.1 Overview
2.8.2 Opening up of gateway market
2.9 Regulatory issues
2.9.1 Background
2.10 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
3. Broadband market
3.1 Overview
3.2 Broadband statistics
3.3 True Online
3.4 National Broadband Policy
3.4.1 True's fixed broadband project
3.5 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
3.5.1 Background
3.6 Cable modem
3.6.1 Background
3.7 Internet via satellite
3.7.1 Background
3.8 Wireless internet
3.8.1 WiFi
3.8.2 Free WiFi hotspot project
3.8.3 WiMAX
3.9 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH)
4. Broadcasting market
4.1 Overview
4.2 Regulatory environment
4.2.1 Proposed National Broadcasting Commission (NBC)
4.2.2 Broadcasting Act 2008
4.3 Regulatory developments - 2013
4.3.1 New broadcasting licences issued
4.4 Digital TV
4.4.1 Background
4.4.2 Licensing process
4.5 Internet Protocol Television (IPTV)
4.5.1 Advanced Datanetwork Communications Ltd (ADC)
4.5.2 TT&T
4.5.3 TOT
4.5.4 True
4.5.5 Mass Communications Organization of Thailand (MCOT)
4.5.6 CAT
4.6 Free-to-Air (FTA) TV
4.7 Pay TV
4.7.1 Overview
4.7.2 Pay TV licensing
4.7.3 Statistics
4.7.4 True Visions (formerly United Broadcasting Corporation (UBC))
4.7.5 Cable Thai Holding (CTH)
5. Notes on scenario forecasts
6. Related reports
Table 1 Internet users 1996 - 2014
Table 2 Internet subscribers 1997 - 2012
Table 3 International internet bandwidth 2000 - 2013
Table 4 Forecast internet subscribers and penetration rate 2015; 2020
Table 5 Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration 2001 - 2014
Table 6 Fixed broadband subscribers and households 2012
Table 7 Major fixed broadband providers and subscribers 2012
Table 8 DSL subscribers 2002 - 2012
Table 9 True fixed broadband subscribers 2010 - 2012
Table 10 Key broadcasting statistics 2012
Table 11 Digital TV licence categories number of licences and bidders October 2013
Table 12 Pay TV subscribers 1996 - 2002
Table 13 Pay TV subscribers by platform 2002 - 2012
Table 14 True Visions - pay TV subscribers 1998 - 2012
Table 15 True Visions Pay TV and FTA subscribers 2007 - 2012
Table 16 True Visions pay TV ARPU 2003 - 2012
Chart 1 Internet subscribers 2002 - 2012
Chart 2 Fixed broadband subscribers total vs DSL 2003 - 2010
Chart 3 - Pay TV subscribers by platform - 2002-2011
Exhibit 1 Licensed ISPs in Thailand 2012
Exhibit 2 ISPs operated by telecom companies
Exhibit 3 International internet gateway operators in Thailand 2011
Exhibit 4 Digital TV licensing categories and companies purchasing bid papers October 2013
Exhibit 5 FTA TV Broadcasters

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