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3G to drive international internet surge
[November 28, 2012]

3G to drive international internet surge

Nov 29, 2012 (Bangkok Post - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- The exponential increase in wireless data usage will contribute to growth in consumption of international internet bandwidth in Thailand next year, say leading international internet gateway (IIG) operators.

Internet bandwidth demand is seen soaring to 1,000 gigabits per second (Gbps) in 2013, up from 400 Gbps this year, thanks to commercial third-generation (3G) services.

The value of the IIG market is forecast at 12 billion baht next year, up from an expected 9.6 billion this year, said Somyot Tanapirunthorn, executive vice-president of CAT Telecom, the country's biggest international gateway service provider.

Mr Somyot said that local international bandwidth usage has grown by 20% this year, compared with 15% last year.

"After Thailand liberalised the IIG market in 2008, the wholesale price of internet bandwidth declined by almost 50%," he said.

Before the Asean Economic Community emerges in 2016, CAT plans to spend 3 billion baht next year to expand its IIG connection point to the Indochina region, particularly Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia.

Rungkiet Kamondetdacha, general manager of True International Gateway, the country's third-biggest IIG operator, said the company expects an increase of 70% in its international bandwidth consumption growth in 2013, up from a 60% rise this year.

True has spent 140 million baht increasing its IIG network capacity and connection points to Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia this year.

A survey by TeleGeography, a global telecom research firm, showed that bandwidth usage in Indochina surged from 30 Gbps in 2007 to 450 Gbps in 2011, fuelled by fixed and wireless broadband internet.

Internet speed is now the key element in IIG market competition.

Supoj Mahapan, director for international services at True Corporation, said IIG business generates 1 billion baht in revenue for the group.

He said IIG could compensate for declining revenue in international voice roaming service, which has been hurt by the boom in data communication.

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