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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        31  March 2011

Thailand scraps satellite plans

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Thailand’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Ministry has abandoned its proposal to build two satellites in order to retain the country's orbital slot rights.

The plan cannot go ahead until the new industry regulator, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) is formed, officials said.

The ministry, meanwhile, intends to hold talks with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to reserve the nation's two orbital slots rights due to expire next year, said ICT Minister Juti Krairiksh.

The cabinet last week approved the ministry's proposal to build two satellites. CAT Telecom had been assigned to take responsibility for building a satellite that would occupy the orbital slot at 120 degrees East slot. The other satellite, to be positioned at 50.5 degrees East, would be operated under a concession put up for open bid under the 1992 Public-Private Joint Venture Act.

Thailand has eight satellite orbital slots registered with the ITU. The country needs to launch satellites as scheduled or other countries can apply for the slots. The kingdom is at risk of losing its slots at 50.5 degrees East and 120 degrees East, which are set to expire in January and October 2012, respectively.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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