Telecom panel unable to consider licence for Thaicom 8

Corporate February 05, 2014 00:00

By Usanee Mongkolporn
The Nation

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The telecommunications regulator has been unable to consider awarding a licence for the planned Thaicom 8 satellite, pending the establishment of a new government to oversee satellite policy in conjunction with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunicat

Settapong Malisuwan, chairman of the NBTC’s telecom committee, said that in December, it had asked for the Information and Communications Technology Ministry’s opinion on two issues. 
First, the panel wanted to know if the ministry would permit Thaicom 8 to orbit in the 78.5 degrees east longitude slot and whether that would create a legal problem, as that slot is also occupied by the existing Thaicom 5 and 6 satellites, which are under the ministry’s concession.
The second issue was whether the ministry would allow Thaicom to talk with the International Telecommunication Union according to the company’s filing to the ITU on its plan to launch Thaicom 8 into that slot.
Settapong said the ministry had yet to provide opinions on these issues to the telecom committee, as it is in caretaker status. 
The committee will be able to consider granting a telecom licence for Thaicom 8 only after obtaining the ministry’s guidance on the two issues.
Thaicom’s vice president for corporate affairs, Ekachai Phakdurong, said the company had asked the NBTC last month expedite its consideration on granting the licence for Thaicom 8, which would cater to the rising demands for broadcasting service.
The company has requested that the ITU reserve the 78.5 degrees slot for positioning Thaicom 8 and was given two years to show progress towards its launch, of which half a year was passed. 
The Thaicom 6 broadcasting satellite went into service on Saturday after the completion of in-orbit testing. The company has transferred ownership of the satellite to the ICT Ministry.