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TOT pressed for new revival plan

General Surapong Suwannaat, deputy joint chief of staff and chairman of TOT, yesterday told the state enterprise's management to rush revising its turnaround plan for resubmission to the State Enterprise Policy Commission, or "superboard".

TOT president Yongyuth Wattanasin said the superboard told TOT to cut its none-core business units and keep only six main units out of the total of 13.

The six core businesses are basic telecommunications infrastructure, telecom towers, overseas calling service, fixed telephone and Internet services, cloud computing, and Internet gateways. It also has to conduct due diligence on all core units.

TOT's revamped board, at its first meeting, also approved TOT's proposal to join the consortium developing the Asia-Africa-Europe 1 submarine cable. The project is one of three undersea cable projects worth Bt59.79 billion that the National Council for Peace and Order endorsed last week.

TOT said in a statement that the cable project was one of the new sources of revenue to replace the telecom concession revenue that it has had to pass on to the Finance Ministry since December 20.

TOT plans to inject Bt1.4 million into the project and will pay 10 per cent of that amount as the first payment as a consortium member this month. It hopes to see a return on investment in seven years.

The new fibre-optic route should allow increased data services for the country. TOT will lay a fibre cable from Prachuap Khiri Khan to Satun to link to the Andaman Sea.

TOT will also be a member of a consortium of 18 international operators worldwide.

The 25,000-kilometre submarine cable from Southeast Asia to Europe across Egypt will connect to Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Yemen, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Greece, Italy and France.

Cable construction is due to be completed in 2016.

The NCPO also approved two other cable projects for TOT but the board has still not approved them, pending its next meeting. They are the Southeast Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 5 and the Thailand branch of the Southeast Asia Japan Cable System.


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