Author Topic: TOT looks to IPTV by June despite doubts  (Read 499 times)

Offline thaiga

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TOT looks to IPTV by June despite doubts
« on: February 25, 2012, 11:52:37 AM »
BANGKOK: -- While TOT hopes IPTV (Internet-protocol television) will be its new value-added service, management still doubts whether the project will be able to get off the ground soon.

The state telecom agency joined with IPTV service provider Cubic Associates Group (Thailand) to demonstrate the technology yesterday. TOT board chairman Panthep Chamrasromran said the two were in talks on details of a possible partnership. If the deal is done, the service may be launched commercially in June.

The service would target TOT's 109,000 broadband Internet subscribers who have signed up for a connection speed over 10 megabits per second. In total, TOT has more than a million broadband Internet users.

Customers using the IPTV service would need to buy a set-top box to access the programmes but there would be no monthly fee. Panthep said TOT aimed to sell 35,000 set-top boxes a month.

However, a high-ranking TOT executive source said management was not certain the project could get off the ground soon, given that some details might not be easily finalised.

First, Cubic has proposed that TOT put forward a bank guarantee of Bt150 million to procure the first lot of 30,000 set-top boxes, each of which costs Bt5,000. Then TOT would sell the boxes for Bt5,555 each to woo customers to the service. An instalment plan of 10 monthly payments of Bt555 would be offered.

"TOT is concerned that if it fails to sell all 30,000 boxes, it will lose the bank guarantee to the company," the source said.

Moreover, TOT is still waiting to see what content Cubic would broadcast on the IPTV channels under this partnership. In addition, they have yet to finalise a marketing plan on how to compete with cable and satellite TV operators, the source said.

Supersak na Nakhonphamom, chief executive officer of Cubic Associates Group (Thailand), said the company expected to offer 150 IPTV channels on TOT's network. In the first phase, 70 per cent of the programmes would be free content, while the rest would be pay-per-view and video-on-demand service. The next step would include interactive services such as travel- and movie-ticket booking, and home delivery via set-top box.
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