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Samart invests for 20% of set-top market

Samart Engineering Co plans to spend Bt100 million on marketing its digital TV set-top boxes.

"We aim to secure at least 20 per cent or 2 million set-top boxes out of the total 11 million coupons this year. That's why we have to promote our brand," managing director Thawee Udomkitchote said yesterday.

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission plans this quarter to set the value of vouchers to be used to purchase devices to watch digital TV.

The coupons are expected to be distributed to all households nationwide in the middle of this year. The company is a subsidiary of Samart Corp. It makes television antennas and related equipment.

Samart has set the price for set top boxes at Bt1,350-Bt1,450 and for active indoor antennas at Bt290-Bt590.

The company has also joined with retail shops nationwide to prepare for redemptions of the coupons for its products, which may include set-top boxes plus active antennas.

The company will be ready to offer the best deal for each coupon value with a variety of products customised for digital TV coverage.

However, the company believes that set-top box prices may drop about 20 per cent after the NBTC embarks on the coupon distribution project.

The NBTC had considered setting the coupon face value at Bt690 but after it succeeded in generating higher revenue from its auction of 24 channels last year, it now might raise the coupon value to about Bt1,000.

The company's sales are running at about 20,000 units a month since the product was introduced last year.

This year it targets sales reaching about Bt2 billion, up nearly sevenfold from Bt300 million last year, mostly from digital TV set-top boxes and antennas.


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