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.
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).