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Partnership to tackle TV piracy

To tackle content piracy of Internet services, pay-TV operator CTH has teamed with telecommunication firm Data CDMA Communication to broaden its subscription base via Internet protocol television (IPTV) service in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos.

Under the partnership, both companies have set a target of 350,000 subscribers by end of this year.

Data CDMA Communication will gain revenue from the sale of IPTV set-top boxes and will share its subscription-fee revenue evenly with CTH.

Nipon Chuchid, president of Data CDMA Communication, said the company aimed to have 250,000 subscribers in Thailand and 50,000 each in Cambodia and Laos.

Chirdsak Kukiattinun, chairman of CTH's executive committee, said: "We hope that the penetration into the market of 40 million Internet users will help the company deal with the prolonged piracy problem, particularly in the IPTV market."

The new set-top box is equipped with a condition-access system to protect against consumer piracy.

Chirdsak estimated that of the total number of Internet users in the Kingdom, IPTV users accounted for 10-20 per cent.

But he acknowledged that competition in this market was intense because of key rivals such as TOT, CAT Telecom and 3BB.

To access the 93 basic IPTV channels of CTH's My World, customers pay a one-time Bt1,800 deposit for the Bt2,900 set-top box.

But if they want to view English Premier League (EPL) soccer matches or the entertainment channels, they can choose either the Bt499 monthly package for 13 exclusive channels or the Bt699 monthly package for 15 exclusive channels.

All channels will be broadcast in standard definition.

Data CDMA Communication will sell the set-top box and the CTH packages via its 417 nationwide dealers. The My World products and services will be available next month.

Apart from the IPTV service, CTH has expanded its distribution channels via a number of media outlets. It recently partnered with GMM Z, a satellite-TV unit of GMM Grammy, to offer a high-definition package for the EPL via GMM Z set-top boxes.

Under the partnership, the company has targeted a million subscribers.

CTH also partnered with PSI Holdings, the country's largest satellite TV manufacturer and distributor, to bundle its key content, including the EPL, with the new set-top boxes. The company aims to achieve a million subscribers under this partnership.

Chirdsak said the company would be happy if it had more than 3 million subscribers in total by end of this year.


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