Thailand’s Triple T Global Net, the newly formed international communications arm of provincial fixed line telco TT&T, says it will invest THB200 million (USD6.2 million) in launching international direct dialling (IDD) services. The company yesterday received its ‘Type 2’ international internet gateway (IIG) licence (for service providers with or without their own infrastructure) from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC). Suwat Punnachaiya, general manager of Triple T Global Net, said the company had also applied for a Type 3 (infrastructure-based) IDD licence with the NTC, with approval expected to be granted in June at the latest, and commercial services expected to be launched by the end of this year. Triple T Global Net also plans to expand into VoIP and data services in 2008. Mr Suwat added that said the company planned to establish connections with both domestic and international internet networks to provide IIG services, with commercial operations scheduled for the second half of this year. Triple T Global Net will focus on providing IIG services to companies initially. It plans to expand into the consumer ISP market next year. ‘We expect IIG services to generate THB200 million this year, and the figure would double in 2008,’ Mr Suwat said. The IIG market was estimated to be worth THB4 billion this year, with twofold annual growth, he added. Mr Suwat also said that he hoped to see the full liberalisation of the internet industry, opening up the opportunity for private operators to invest in a submarine cable system that would allow them to operate independently from state-run CAT Telecom’s international gateway. He has called on the NTC to allow Triple T Global Net to temporarily lease bandwidth from international providers other than CAT, similar to rival True Corp’s True Internet Gateway venture, which launched IIG services under a trial licence earlier this year. ‘If we can use bandwidth from international providers, our connection costs would be reduced by up to 36%,’ claimed Mr Suwat.
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