TOT rolls out IPTV service
Jan 17, 2013 (Bangkok Post - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
TOT Plc stepped into the digital future with yesterday's commercial launch of internet protocol television (IPTV) nationwide.
The state telecom enterprise expects its existing 1.4 million broadband customers to sign up for IPTV services, said Jantana Techasirinugool, TOT's executive vice-president for product development.
The service, in partnership with Memorable Entertainment Television (Me TV), allows viewers to watch programmes on TV sets and personal computers via a set-top box or mobile application on an iPad and iPhone, without a satellite dish or cable network.
Customers using TOT's broadband service of 6Mbps or higher can sign up for IPTV services, said Ms Jantana.
TOT will charge a monthly fee of 150 baht for providing 74 free-to-air channels, including nine high-definition channels. A highlight is football games from Spain's La Liga in HD.
Customers can also choose from premium packages with more channels, running from an extra 290 baht to 1,300 baht a month.
"We expect to earn 7 billion baht in revenue from IPTV service by 2016, with a total of 1.5 million subscribers," said Ms Jantana.
TOT board chairman Udom Puasakul acknowledged TOT's financial status is in a precarious situation as its concession revenue from Advanced Info Service must be passed to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission starting on Dec 20.
Under the Frequency Allocation Act, TOT must return concession revenue and revenue from frequency-related services to the telecom regulator, before passing to the state.
To offset the vanishing revenue, Mr Udom said TOT plans to offer its 3G broadband service nationwide on Feb 24 with 4,000 base stations, down from 5,320 bases as originally planned.
"We are preparing to introduce a 4G LTE trial on our 2300-megahertz spectrum in March, with 200 base stations, focusing on Bangkok and the provinces where high bandwidth usage is prevalent," he said.
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