I'd missed an announcement last week that CAT Telecom, one of the state-owned incumbents in Thailand had been green-lighted to deploy Fiber to the Home in Bangkok and neighbouring provinces. The aim is to deploy to 400k homes for a cost estimated at 6bn baht (approx. USD 185m), so it's a limited deployment.
This announcement seems to validate the view expressed in a recent report I published with my colleague Wally Swain entitled There
Is a Business Case for FTTP in (Some) Emerging Markets. In this report,Wally and I built a model to assess the potential for FTTP deployment in a variety of emerging markets. In Thailand, we suggested that economics supported a targeted deployment of FTTH which is what CAT Telecom seems to be intending.
Anyway, back to the announcement. This press release / article also suggests that CAT Telecom anticipates a cost per home passed of 25.000 baht (USD 775) which I find very high for an emerging market. I'm curious to find exactly what this cost includes (especially regarding in-home equipment) and in particular what topology and technology have been chosen. I guess the cost of deployment per home could also be connected with targeted areas: if the deployment focuses on high-revenue areas, that might explain the comparatively high cost since these areas are often constituted of single-homes…
CAT Telecom apparently intends to have the broadband service as the anchor product (25Mbps or 100Mbps) and Television and Telephony as options. It's a bit too early to tell what the final packages will look like. Looking at the history of CAT Telecom, I also hope that political instability doesn't jeopardize their progressive plans as, it seems, has already happened in the past.