True Online boosts broadband speed as Thai 3G looms

Broadband arm of True Corporation aims to up speed by 30 percent to better compete following the country's 3G commercial wireless service rollout next month.

True Online is upgrading its current broadband speed offering to 13 Mbps from 10 Mbps, with no change to service fees.

Thailand's True Online is bolstering its fixed-time broadband speed in anticipation of impending competition from next month's rollout of 3G commercial wireless service in the country.

According to The Bangkok Post on Saturday, the broadband arm of True Corporation will raise its broadband speed by 30 percent by June to better compete when 3G services on the 2.1 GHz frequency are introduced. The service provider is upgrading its current broadband speed to 13Mbps for an unchanged service package of 590 baht (US$20.15) a month.

"We want our services to be 10 times faster than 3G, a normal competitive rate for fixed broadband operators," Charoen Limkangwanmongkol, True Online's managing director, said in the report. Fixed broadband is unlikely to see significant impact from 3G due to the faster speed of fixed broadband, he added.

True Online will also invest 2 billion baht (US$68.3 million) this year to expand its broadband network coverage to 4.2 million households in 61 provinces, up from the current 53 provinces. The company will spend another 10 billion baht (US$341 million) from 2014 to 16 to expand its broadband network nationwide, focusing especially in rural areas. 

According to Chaoren, True Online is aiming to overtake local rival and state-owned Telecom of Thailand (TOT) in terms of leadership in upcountry markets, with a target to lead the market with a 65 percent share nationwide by 2016.

The Bangkok Post report noted that True Online had 36 percent market share in Thailand's overall fixed broadband market, and a 66 percent share in Bangkok itself. 

The service provider also expects to add 300,000 subscribers this year, compared to 235,000 new customers last year, bringing its total to 1.9 million by the end of 2013.


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