March 04, 2014 00:00
By Watchiranont Thongtep
Network operators for the upcoming digital terrestrial TV system plan on expanding their reach to more than 80 per cent of total households by the middle of next year, according to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission.
Natee Sukonrat, chairman of the NBTC’s broadcasting committee, said yesterday that it had approved the second phase of roll-out plans jointly proposed by the four state-
run digital-TV network operators.
The second phase will run from this August to June 2015. People in Roi Et, Chiang Rai, Sa Kaew and Nakhon Sawan provinces will be able to watch digital TV content in August. By October, audiences in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phuket, Trang and Lampang will also have access to this service, while people in Sakon Nakhon, Surin, Nan, Phetchabun and Prachuap Khiri Khan will get the chance in December.
Next year, residents of Kanchanaburi, Chumphon, Trat, Mukdahan and Tak will experience this new service in February. In April, people in Mae Hong Son, Ranong, Loei, Chaiyaphum, Phrae will be receiving digital TV channels, while residents of Satun, Uttaradit, Bueng Kan, Si Sa Ket and Yala will also enjoy this new viewing experience from 24 digital terrestrial TV channels and some public digital channels.
Nod to roll-out plan
The approval of this latest network roll-out plan came after the broadcast committee advised the four network operators – the Royal Thai Army, MCOT, the Public Relations Department and the Thai Public Broadcasting Service – to complete their coverage areas in the first 11 provinces by June.
Next month, residents of Bangkok, Nakhon Ratchasima, Chiang Mai and Songkhla will be the first group in the Kingdom to experience the new digital service. Natee said this would include all 24 commercial channels and some in the public-broadcasting category.
In May, residents in Ubon Ratchathani, Surat Thani and Rayong will get access to this cutting-edge broadcasting service, and people in Sing Buri, Sukhothai, Khon Kaen and Udon Thani will get the chance in June.
To get the network ready for new digital channels for community-based service
in the near future, the broadcasting committee has revised its frequency master plan to arrange and reserve some bandwidth for such services under separate multiplexers or networks.