Network providers for digital TV aim to offer a single network rental price for channel operators but prices have not been officially set.
Yesterday, state-run free-TV operators who have been granted network licences held a meeting to discuss the sharing of infrastructure for digital TV.
They are the Royal Thai Army, which operates Channel 5; MCOT Plc's Channel 9; the Public Relations Department (PRD) for Channel 11; and public TV Thai PBS.
They agreed to use 34 broadcast towers from Thai PBS and five broadcast towers from MCOT as the main towers for digital TV in the first year.
Network providers will pool their resources and network rental will be set at a single price of 40-60 million baht per year for standard-definition (SD) channels and 120-240 million for high-definition (HD) channels.
Chalit Lailikit, senior vice-president for engineering at MCOT, said the single network for digital TV will reduce the investment cost and network rental costs for channel operators.
The collaboration will speed network coverage to at least 95% of Thailand within three years, faster than National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) conditions of 55% coverage the first year, 80% in the second year, 90% in the third year and 95% in the fourth year.
"If we don't pool as a single network, our expansion will be difficult to comply with the NBTC plan," Mr Chalit said.
Previously, network providers submitted their individual network rental prices to the regulator.
The Royal Thai Army offered prices based on its network expansion, or 1.5 million baht per month in the first year for SD channels, then 2.5 million, 4 million and 5 million in successive years.
For HD channels, it offered 4.5 million baht, 7.5 million, 12 million and 15 million per month.
Thai PBS offered 2 million baht, 4.5 million, 3.6 million and 4 million per month in successive years for SD channels, with 4.5 million, 7.2 million, 8.1 million and 9 million for HD channels.
The PRD set prices of 2.4 million, 3.2 million and 4 million for SD channels, plus 7 million, 10 million and 12 million for HD channels.
MCOT offered average four-year prices of 5 million baht a month for SD channels and 15-20 million for HD channels.
The NBTC will announce network rental costs 30 days before the digital TV auction.
About the author
- Writer: Saengwit Kewaleewongsatorn
Position: Business Reporter