“NT Ground to Space: Insights from the CEO of National Telecom Public Company Limited”

“NT Ground to Space: Insights from the CEO of National Telecom Public Company Limited”

Colonel Sanpachai Huvanandana, Ph.D.
President, National Telecom Public Company Limited

NT Ground to Space: Ready to Space Economy

Q: Why Thais Should Pay Attention to the Space Business
In my view, there are three to four key factors that make it essential for Thais to start paying attention to the space business.

1. High-Value Market
The space business is a high-value market with immense potential. It offers a plethora of opportunities for growth and investment, making it an attractive sector for businesses and investors alike.

2. National Strategic Importance
Our national strategic plans place significant emphasis on the space economy. By aligning with these plans, we can ensure sustainable economic growth and technological advancement.

3. Available Resources
Thailand is well-equipped with resources, such as numerous geostationary orbits (GEO) that we have reserved but have yet to utilize. These orbits represent untapped potential that can drive our space endeavors forward.

4. Geographical Advantage
Thailand’s proximity to the equator offers a unique geographical advantage. Launching space stations or satellites from this region is cost-effective due to the lower fuel requirements, making it an ideal location for space activities.

Given these factors, it is clear that the space economy holds great promise for Thailand. By focusing on this sector, we can unlock new opportunities, drive innovation, and position ourselves as a key player in the global space industry. It’s time for Thais to look to the stars and embrace the possibilities that lie ahead in the space business.

Q: Does the Space Business Have to Operate Exclusively in Space?
The space business encompasses multiple facets, not limited to activities solely in space. In reality, there are several parts to consider.

The space segment involves geostationary satellites communicating from space to ground stations. These satellites play a crucial role in global communications and data transmission.

On the ground segment, the communication is extended to end-users, ensuring connectivity and access to information. This segment is vital for delivering the benefits of space technology to everyday consumers and businesses.

What’s particularly interesting is that every aspect related to space can generate value and create jobs. At NT, we recognize the value chain within the space business and understand where we can leverage our existing assets to benefit from this growing industry. NT is keen on exploring how we can contribute to national security and provide comprehensive communication services.

The space business isn’t limited to just satellites and ground stations. As satellite coverage becomes more extensive, new business opportunities are likely to emerge. We could witness the birth of entirely new industries that were previously unimaginable, driven by advancements in satellite technology and communication infrastructure.

Q: What is LEO and How Does it Benefit Thailand?
Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites represent a new frontier in satellite communication. Positioned much closer to Earth than traditional satellites, LEO satellites offer faster communication with significantly reduced latency.

The primary advantage of LEO satellites is their proximity to Earth, which ensures faster data transmission. However, because they orbit so close to the planet, their coverage area is limited. To provide global coverage, a network of many LEO satellites is required, unlike Geostationary Orbit (GEO) satellites, where just three satellites can cover the entire globe.

While Thailand might not be able to invest in creating its own LEO satellite network, the country can still play a significant role in the LEO business. The current LEO technology offers internet speeds comparable to fiber-optic networks, especially beneficial in remote areas where laying fiber-optic cables is impractical or prohibitively expensive. LEO satellites can bridge this gap, providing high-speed internet to border regions and islands in Thailand.

There are ample business opportunities in leveraging LEO technology. NT is actively partnering with various LEO satellite operators, exploring ways to integrate this technology within Thailand. NT aims to become a gateway for communication not only within Thailand but also extending to neighboring countries like Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam (CLMV).

By embracing LEO satellite technology, Thailand can enhance connectivity, particularly in underserved areas, driving economic growth and ensuring that even the most remote locations have access to high-speed internet. This collaboration marks a significant step towards a more connected future for Thailand and the CLMV region.

Q: NT’s Satellite Business Direction
1. End-to-End Service Provider
NT aims to become an end-to-end service provider in the satellite business. Following a resolution by the Space Committee, NT is set to operate its own satellites, providing national satellite services for the government and offering total solutions to businesses.

2. Experience and Growth
NT began its journey in the satellite industry with Satellite Broadcast services. Today, NT manages the concessions for Thaicom 4 and Thaicom 6 satellites, giving the team valuable experience in satellite operations and control.

3. Future Plans
NT is currently studying and considering an investment in the 126E orbital slot auction. If successful, NT will have its own satellites to serve the Thai population, including remote areas. This capability will extend NT’s reach to neighboring regions. And we are also setting our sights on future business targets such as the New Space sector

4. Expanding Revenue Streams
By owning and operating its own satellites, NT will be able to negotiate new business deals and increase its revenue in the satellite sector. This expansion will enhance NT’s ability to provide comprehensive satellite services, ensuring connectivity and support for various regions.

NT’s commitment to growing its satellite business highlights its dedication to innovation and service excellence, aiming to bring advanced satellite solutions to Thailand and beyond.

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