CTH’s cutting of Ku-band service expected to affect 40,000

Corporate June 22, 2016 01:00

By WATCHIRANONT THONGTEP
THE NAT

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ABOUT 40,000 CTH customers are expected to be affected by the discontinuation of service via the Ku-band satellite system on August 1, says the broadcasting regulator.



Supinya Klangnarong, a member of the broadcasting committee of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, said yesterday that based on the NBTC’s database, about 40,000 customers had paid for a monthly package to watch both free-to-air and pay-TV programmes via Thaicom’s Ku-band satellite-TV footprint.

She commented on this matter after a meeting with the Office of the Consumer Protection Board (OCPB) yesterday at its head office. The discussion was a part of a bid to seek remedial measures for people soon to be affected by the CTH move.

Speaking on behalf of the NBTC’s consumer rights protection subcommittee, Supinya said she believed that the end of this service could have a severe impact on CTH’s subscribers and more complaints are expected to be surface once the service comes to an end.

OCPB secretary-general Umpon Wongsiri said that as of yesterday, his office had received about 34 complaints from CTH and GMM Z customers alleging breach of contract.

“Only 20 out of those cases have been solved after negotiations between the company and its customers,” he said.

However, there had not been any cases so far arising from CTH’s recent announcement of the end of its Ku-band service.

Apart from ending that service, CTH has also stopped providing its Z Pay TV programmes via the GMM Z platform and C-band service via PSI Holding, the country’s leading satellite-TV provider.

Supinya said she wanted to hear more details from CTH and her team had invited representatives from the company to meet with the subcommittee next week.

“At this point, we do not know yet whether CTH wishes to stop only some of its services or close its operations entirely. So we need them to clarify this matter,” she said.

At next week’s meeting, the NBTC hopes to see further details from CTH about its remedial measures for its customers after the change.

Additionally, CTH has told its customers to check their rights to remedial measures via its website or call centre.

Recently, CTH chief executive officer Amarit Sukhavanij told Now 26 digital TV station, an affiliate of The Nation, that his company had no plan to cease operations. The end of some services was a part of a downsizing strategy after suffering huge financial losses.

He admitted that prepaid customers would be effected after ending service via the Ku-band satellite system. However, those affected would be transferred to another system on a Vinasat satellite.

According to the Commerce Ministry’s Business Development Department, CTH reported a loss of Bt4.55 billion in 2014 and a Bt3.27-billion loss in 2013.