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Licensees to pick channels Jan 27

Briefing, signings with network providers

The 24 commercial digital terrestrial TV licensees will select their frequency or channel on January 27 and sign leases with the four network providers this month to begin broadcasting in April.

To avoid the Bangkok Shutdown, the broadcasting committee of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission held its weekly meeting on Sunday instead of yesterday.

Chairman Natee Sukonrat said in a statement received yesterday that the selection of radio frequencies, or channel numbers, would be held at 2pm on January 27, when the committee would also give details such as the key terms and conditions for the use of radio frequencies for digital TV broadcasts.

According to the spectrum frequency design plan, channels for commercial TV broadcasts range from 13-36, while channels 1-12 are reserved for public TV.

Standard-definition (SD) children's channels take up 13-15, SD news channels 16-22, SD variety channels 23-29 and high-definition (HD) variety channels 30-36.

The successful bidders can choose their channel and network provider besides receiving a service licence and the right to hold a frequency, he added. Besides MCOT, Thai Public Broadcasting Service; the Public Relations Department; and Royal Thai Army Radio and Television Station, the broadcaster of Channel 5, are network providers.

Lt-General Chatudom Titthaisiri, director-general of the station, said the station would sign leases with 13 broadcasters - Bangkok Media and Broadcasting, Channel 7's Bangkok Broadcasting and Television, Amarin Television, GMM HD Digital TV, GMM SD Digital TV, Thai Broadcasting, True DTT, Mono Broadcast, Bangkok Business Broadcasting, NBC Next Vision, Thai News Network, DN Broadcast and 3A Marketing.

The station will offer five HD and nine SD channels. It expects to reach 70 per cent of all households in the first year and 90 per cent in the second year.

Mongkol Leelatum, deputy director-general of Thai PBS, and Chalit Lailikit, executive vice president and acting senior vice president for network operations at MCOT, told The Nation that their leases were expected to be inked this year.


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