Thai satellite firm seeking foreign partners for ground stations

Thaicom, the country’s satellite service provider, is offering an out-of-this-world opportunity for firms experienced in operating ground stations and is in talks with three potential foreign partners as part of Thailand’s liberalization of its satellite industry.

“Thaicom could be an interesting option for foreign satellite operators that plan to operate satellite gateway businesses in Thailand,” said Thaicom Chief Executive Anant Kaewruamgvongs.

Ground stations, known as satellite gateways, are responsible for transmitting data to and from the satellite to the local area network. Anant said he expects that deals with foreign partners will be signed this year, and new ground stations will be up and running by next year.

He did not disclose which companies from which countries would be potential partners.

Founded in 1991, Thaicom currently operates five satellites, providing communications services to Asia, Oceania, and Africa. Listed on the Thai stock exchange, Thaicom has been diversifying its business to stay competitive and add new revenue streams.

New ventures include innovative tech, robotics, and artificial intelligence. The company will also maximize its existing transponder capacity.

“Satellite is not a basic telecom business anymore,” Anant said. “The players have to gear up for tech development and new business models to cash in on varied businesses driven by innovative tech and over-the-top operations.”

A Thaicom-led consortium of five satellite firms is negotiating with a satellite maker to build a new broadband internet satellite that meets the most current specifications, called a software-defined satellite (SDS).

That type of network can facilitate flexible and fine-grained network management, reduce systems costs, and improve collaboration between satellites.

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