Thai regulator to issue three new digital TV licence types

Louise Duffy ©RapidTVNews | 23-05-2012

Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) intends to grant the first three of its four classes of licences for terrestrial digital TV next year.

NBTC broadcasting committee chairman Natee Sukonrat said the three licence types were for programme transmission, for rental of facilities such as broadcast towers, and for channel operators. The fourth class, for providers of application services, will be awarded later.
He estimated that the granting of the licences would result in massive investment, about Bt100 billion, by 2016, of which about Bt10 billion would be for infrastructure, Bt20 billion for set-top box production, and the rest on bids for licences by would-be channel operators.
Satellite operator Thaicom will have to apply for a network licence but will not need to pay the licence fee, he added. This will make it subject to NBTC regulations.
The annual fee for each of these three classes of licences will not exceed 2 per cent of the holders' revenue.
There will be about 50 terrestrial digital TV channels, all using ultra-high frequency (UHF), of which 10 are expected to be reserved for serving the public and the rest for commercial operation.
The NBTC will put the draft detailing all four classes of licences to a public hearing on 18 June.