Thailand's Shin Plans on Low-Cost Satellite TV

The DTV provider plans to make antennae obsolete, with a goal to sell 2 million satellite dishes by 2009

Thailand's Shin Broadband Internet, a subsidiary of Shin Satellite, is offering low-cost household satellite television dishes, and hopes the new business unit would generate 60% of its total revenue this year.

Touted as "the region's cheapest Ku-band satellite TV dish", the DTV product would make TV antennas obsolete, said general manager Tanadit Charoenchan.

"DTV offers a clearer picture over TV antennas and the price is four times cheaper than Cu-band dishes. We expect to sell up to one million dishes by the middle of 2008 and two million in 2009," said Tanadit, who is also the vice-president for finance and accounting of Shin Satellite.

"We expect to realize up to 1.7 billion baht ($53 million) in revenue from the DTV sales by our existing 400 distribution outlets," he said.

Ku-band satellite TV dish systems come with a satellite receiver and a remote control as well as a dish pointing at only one satellite.

Thanadhit said DTV would primarily compete with TV antennas, not pay TV, and would target 17 million Thai households.

DTV would also allow users to send SMS messages from mobile handsets through the set-top box next month.

Shin Broadband is also considering providing WiMAX broadband services through a new company.

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