Thai NBTC works to combat DTT delay in next stage of transition


Rebecca Hawkes

| 21 September 2015

Thailand may not meet its 90% target for transition from analogue to digital television transmission (DTT) by its May 2016 target, the broadcasting commission has warned.

This third stage of digitisation is likely to face delays while existing telecommunications facilities managed by state telcos such as Telecom Organisation of Thailand (TOT) are upgraded for use as TV relay sites for digital broadcasters, according to local reports.

"We are, however, trying our best to work closely with all providers of digital TV [transmission] networks and related parties, such as facility providers, namely CAT Telecom and TOT, in order to solve these problems and reach 90% coverage by May next year," Supinya Klangnarong, a member of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), told The Nation.

If broadcasters, including the Thai Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), the Army and MCOT, wish to use facilities, managed by TOT, they may be required to invest in new equipment alongside that operated by the telco, she added.

The third stage of Thailand's digitisation programme requires that each digital TV network provider must be able to cover at least 90% of the country's 22.3 million households by May 2016. Around 170 relay sites will reportedly be required.

Currently, 80% of homes in Thailand can receive four public service and 24 commercial digital TV channels.

The next part of the transition to DTT will see Thai PBC's analogue service switched off in three districts of Chiang Mai (Chaiya Prakan, Fang and Mae Ai), Koh Samui in Surat Thani, and Roi Et Province between December 2015 and January 2016.