The Singapore-backed parent group of Thailand’s mobile market leader Advanced Info Services (AIS) has stated that it intends to ramp up its presence in the Thai fixed broadband market. InTouch (formerly known as Shin Corp) has outlined a five-year strategic plan which involves developing fixed broadband operations alongside AIS’s 3G/4G mobile expansion plans. Executive chairman Somprasong Boonyachai, cited by the Bangkok Post, said the firm will cater to increasing demand for wired broadband over the next five-ten years, and is currently considering the choice of whether to invest in its own high speed fixed access network or rent infrastructure from another operator. ‘A clear investment budget and business plan is expected to be completed this year, with investment beginning in 2014,’ Mr Somprasong stated. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database says that AIS has an existing presence in the Thai fixed broadband market via joint venture Advanced Datanetwork Communications (ADC, 51% owned by AIS via its DPC unit and 49% owned by state-backed TOT) and wholly-owned subsidiary Super Broadband Network Co, offering high speed internet, corporate data services and IPTV, as well as international direct dial (IDD) services via another 100%-owned unit, AIN Globalcomm. ADC operates over copper line and fibre-optic infrastructure and provides a range of ADSL, IP VPN and other data transmission services to more than 800 organisations under the brand name ‘DataNet’, but its ‘Buddy’ branded residential broadband/IPTV venture failed to take off on a large scale. Super Broadband Network Co originally provided wholesale broadband network leasing services but, after receiving new licences in 2007, it expanded its range the following year to include retail ISP services, international and national internet gateway, international private leased circuits (IPLCs), IP VPNs, VoIP and IPTV. Meanwhile, AIS has expanded Wi-Fi public wireless broadband hotspots nationwide through a shared network rollout project with Jasmine International’s fixed broadband subsidiary Triple T Broadband (TTTB).
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