Thai state-owed telcos oppose spin-off plan

06 Mar 2018

The Thai government is facing opposition to its attempts to split the market's two state-owned operators into two companies each.

The Bangkok Postquotes an unnamed senior TOT official as stating that the branching off of two new companies from the state-owned enterprises could cause operational disruption and threaten the one-stop-shop model of both companies.

Clients would no longer be able to contact a single point of service, the source said. This means that digital communications solutions providers may need to rent subsea cable capacity from CAT's subsidiary, a core network from TOT's subsidiary and the last-mile network from TOT itself.

The executive's comments follow a lawsuit filed last week by CAT Telecom's labor union against the Digital Economy Ministry seeking to scrap the plan to separate the two companies.

The union has also argued that separation would weaken the functions of the state-owned companies and could cause substantial harm due to the imposition of market forces on companies obliged to provide public services.

The government last year revealed plans to spin off a new company called National Broadband Network Co from TOT and the Neutral Gateway and Data Centre company from CAT.

The digital economy and society ministry has argued that the move will eliminate duplicated investment between the two companies, allow the two new subsidiaries to pursue new business opportunities and more effectively manage rapid changes in business models and the digital ecosystem.

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