ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation
Bringing Internet access to all is a key part to promoting a digital economy, says Sigve Brekke, interim chief executive officer of Total Access Communication (DTAC).
“What we’ve seen is that when you’re able to grow Internet penetration, you are also growing the country’s economy. There is a clear relationship between Internet growth and economic growth,” he said.
Last month the government said it planned to push for a digital-based economy for long-term economic development and expected to see concrete results within one year.
Brekke said one key factor that would enable DTAC to achieve the “Internet for all” goal was the availability of more spectra to provide wireless broadband, and that is why his firm has urged the government to come out with spectra for fourth-generation service as soon as possible. Nowadays Thai consumers are probably among the highest in the world in terms of data consumption per head, he added.
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission had originally planned this year to auction the 1,800-megahertz-spectrum bands of TrueMove and Digital Phone Co and also those on 900MHz held by Advanced Info Service (AIS). However, the military’s ruling National Council for Peace and Order recently instructed the NBTC to postpone the auctions for a year.
This week TOT told the Information and Communications Technology Ministry that it wanted to hold on to its part of the 900MHz spectrum for its own use after the AIS concession expires in September next year until its own licence ends in 2025 as part of its survival plan. The ministry will ask the working committee it formed with the NBTC to consider TOT’s request.
Recently AIS CEO Somchai Lertsutiwong said he believed that the auctions of the 1,800MHz and 900MHz spectra would definitely taken place, as this would generate a lot of revenue for the government. The establishment of new telecom networks by the auction winners would also create jobs and move the country further towards a digital economy.
Brekke said that to ensure the availability of Internet service to all, affordable smartphones needed to be available to the masses along with a richness of content that is relevant to consumers.
DTAC offers 3G mobile broadband on the 850MHz and 2.1-gigahertz spectra and 4G service on 2.1GHz only. It recently announced a plan to spend Bt10 billion over the next six months to expand its third- and fourth-generation wireless broadband coverage in the Bangkok metropolitan area and 30 other major cities to serve surging demand. This is additional spending. Earlier as part of its market guidance in the second quarter, it had maintained capital expenditure of Bt13 billion this year.
DTAC will also continue to invest in its 3G-2.1GHz network to ensure that it covers the entire population. What happens after that depends somewhat on how the NBTC’s 4G spectrum auction transpires. If it seems quite certain the 4G auctions are coming soon, DTAC will focus on investing in 4G service rather than on 3G. If the auctions are further delayed, it will focus on 3G.
Besides the six-month network expansion, Brekke has given DTAC’s teams the target of making the company No 1 in top-20 content.
“And this is very difficult to do, because those content providers, you have to have a working model with them where you create win-win – and that starts with Facebook. That’s one of the big ones,” he said, but declined to specify more details.
He added that DTAC had collaborated with established foreign and local content partners as well as promising local newcomers to bring content to customers.
DTAC appointed Brekke to head the company again as an interim CEO early last month after the resignation of Jon Eddy Abdullah as chief executive. Brekke has significant experience at DTAC, currently acting as vice chairman of the board and previously heading up the company as CEO from 2005 to 2008. He continues in his role as executive vice president and head of Telenor Group’s Asia operations. Telenor is DTAC’s strategic partner.