Correction: Thaicom's satellite plans

Dylan Bushell-Embling
10 Feb 2012

Thailand satellite operator Thaicom has revealed plans to launch two new crafts, Thaicom 8 and Thaicom 9, over the next three years.

The company also revealed it is shifting its focus to wholesale from the retail segment, as part of a plan to return to profitability.

Thaicom's CEO, Suphajee Suthumpun, told the Bangkok Post that the company plans to launch Thaicom 8 once its existing iPSTAR (Thaicom 4) satellite reaches 40-50% of total capacity. This is expected for 2014 or 2015.

Thaicom 8 is expected to cost around $200 million, and will be used to fulfill broadband demands.

By contrast, Thaicom 9 will concentrate on broadcast satellite, and may be used to serve the Middle East, Europe and Africa regions as well as Asia.

The company currently operates two satellites, iPSTAR and Thaicom 5. The $160 million Thaicom 6 is scheduled to launch in July. Thaicom has also arranged to deploy a joint satellite with AsiaSat, to be named AsiaSat 6/Thaicom 7.

Thaicom is currently undergoing a transition. Suphajee told the newspaper that the company has turned away from the retail segment in favor of corporate users, telecom operators and disaster recovery services.

The operator's concession fees to the government increase this year to 20.5% of total revenue, from 17.5% previously. The fee is set to increase again in 2017 to 22.5%.

Corrected: Changed name of Thaicom's CEO to Suphajee Suthumpun

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