UIH set for Indochina expansion
Feb 11, 2013 (Bangkok Post - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
United Information Highway Co (UIH), the telecommunications network operator, will team up with BB Connect, its internet gateway affiliate, to expand its international gateway to cover Indochina this year.
UIH, a subsidiary of the Benchachinda Group, will spend 1 billion baht on its network investment this year, said Passakorn Hongsyok, the international business director.
The expansion will enable its network to cover 80% of the Thai population at a faster speed of 10 gigabits per second (Gbps) to serve internet demand from business organisations.
"There is higher internet demand, especially in rural areas. When our corporate customers such as Tesco Lotus open new stores upcountry, we as their network provider have to follow them to remote areas," Mr Passakorn said.
BB Connect is investing 50 million baht to expand its own internet gateway service in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
It is partnering with the state-owned Enterprise of Telecom Lao in Laos.
Many Thai companies have expanded to Laos, making Thais the third-largest investors after the Chinese and Vietnamese in this landlocked country.
Mr Passakorn said the internet connection between Thailand and Hong Kong would be shorter if routed via Cambodia.
Expanding its international connections to Indochina will help UIH to service enterprise customers, particularly in the banking, finance and insurance sectors, that expand their businesses to the region.
"The Indochinese expansion will help us to increase foreign revenue to 100 million baht this year," he said.
Mr Passakorn predicts domestic internet consumption will continue to surge 50% this year thanks to the popularity of tablets and smartphones, in addition to demand for fixed-line and wireless broadband.
Last year, Thailand used 400 Gbps of international bandwidth compared to a population of 70 million, while Laos, with 6 million people, used 5 Gbps and Cambodia, with 14 million people, used 22 Gbps.
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