Thaicom Commercial Satellites to Become ICT Ministry Concession

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Thaicom’s commercial satellites 7 and 8, which operate under the NBTC’s (National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission) licensing scheme, will now also be under an ICT (Information and Communication Technology) Ministry concession, according to an ICT source.

Future commercial satellites launched between 2016 and 2021 will also be considered an ICT Ministry concession, the conclusions of a preliminary meeting between the NBTC and the ministry found.

Prajin Juntong, Deputy Prime Minister, will meet with the NBTC and the ICT Ministry Monday to discuss the best course of action. If all parties are in agreement with the preliminary conclusion, the conditions will be included as a provisional clause in the new NBTC law. The draft of the law is expected to be sent to the National Legislative Assembly for review soon.

Thaicom will face higher regulatory fees if the two satellites under NBTC licensing are added into the concession system. Preliminary meeting conclusions call for an annual concession fee to the ICT Ministry from now until 2021 as well as the license fees paid to the NBTC.

The concession of Thaicom’s satellites under the ICT Ministry are set to expire in 2021. The company’s 7 and 8 satellites are operating under the NBTC licensing scheme, while Thaicom 4, 5 and 6 are operating under ICT Ministry concessions.

The annual concession fee is 20.5% of its revenue, while the license fee is 4.5% of its gross revenue.

The meeting’s recommendations also call for Thaicom to pay 3 million baht per satellite to the ICT Ministry. The fee is meant to cover the cost of reserving an orbital slot for one of the company’s future satellites.

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