Thaicom to launch Thailand’s first tracking service via LEO satellite


Thaicom, the satellite operator listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, is set to launch the country’s first tracking service via a low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite, Spot Gen 4.

The launch, planned for the fourth quarter of this year, will primarily target Thailand’s tourism and maritime industries.

The launch comes on the heels of a commercial partnership inked last year between Thaicom and Globalstar, a leading global provider of satellite Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and mobile satellite services. This partnership focuses on the narrow-band LEO satellite business.

Patompob Suwansiri, chief executive of Thaicom, stated that the Spot Gen 4 pilot will be launched in Phuket. The company identified a demand for several thousand devices related to businesses that require tracking solutions in the area.

“Spot Gen 4 uses a satellite-based tracking system to ensure tourists’ safety and can give a boost to local marine tourism.”

The device, which can be attached to a life jacket, will offer added safety to tourists and marine workers alike.

Thaicom and Globalstar

The partnership between Thaicom and Globalstar encompasses two domains. Firstly, Thaicom has been employed by Globalstar to develop, equip, and operate ground station facilities in Thailand, specifically at Thaicom’s Teleport Centre in Pathum Thani province. This is for Globalstar’s LEO satellite constellation. These facilities and services enable the deployment of commercial LEO satellite services by Globalstar in the region.

Secondly, Thaicom is the exclusive distributor of Globalstar’s LEO satellites in Thailand.

Patompob confirmed that the infrastructure and a ground station have been successfully constructed, with some equipment imported and installed, enabling the company to commence services.

The partnership is designed to leverage Thaicom’s local ground facilities and regional service deployment, concentrating on sectors of personnel safety and management solutions for Thailand’s tourism and maritime industries.

This deal is a part of Thaicom’s business development roadmap, as the LEO satellite business forms one avenue of its diversification and can supplement its satellite services portfolio.

Thaicom has been granted a landing licence related to foreign satellites by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).

Patompob revealed that the company has already showcased the IoT products that will be serviced through Globalstar’s LEO satellites. The compact Spot Gen 4 device, smaller than a human palm, allows assets or individuals to be monitored remotely via the satellite network. It’s priced at 6,000 baht per unit, excluding a monthly fee users must pay to Thaicom reported Bangkok Post.

He said it is premature to project a revenue stream for the Spot Gen 4 service in the country. Solutions and services provided via LEO satellites represent the initial stage of Thaicom’s LEO business.

LEO satellites operate at an altitude between 500 and 2,000 kilometres above the Earth’s surface, significantly lower than the 36,000 kilometres at which geostationary satellites, the traditional communication satellites, operate.

This lower orbit results in lower latency, which benefits those with access to high-speed internet services via 5G technology, IoT devices, machine-to-machine technology, and drone technology. This is particularly important for applications requiring high levels of accuracy, such as remote surgery. LEO satellites can be broadband or narrow-band satellites.

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Alex Morgan

Alex is a 42-year-old former corporate executive and business consultant with a degree in business administration. Boasting over 15 years of experience working in various industries, including technology, finance, and marketing, Alex has acquired in-depth knowledge about business strategies, management principles, and market trends. In recent years, Alex has transitioned into writing business articles and providing expert commentary on business-related issues. Fluent in English and proficient in data analysis, Alex strives to deliver well-researched and insightful content to readers, combining practical experience with a keen analytical eye to offer valuable perspectives on the ever-evolving business landscape.

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