Service provider Thaicom searches for LEO partner

11 May 2021

Satellite service provider Thaicom is looking to serve as a partner for any operators offering low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite broadband services as the firm specialises in the regional market.

The move comes after the LEO satellite Starlink project under billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX has allowed interested people to pre-order the service through its website with a refundable US$99 deposit, putting them on a priority list to purchase the Starlink kit when it becomes available.

The latter is targeting service coverage for Bangkok in 2022, according to its website. Interested customers in Thailand can pre-order the service, which will be allotted on a first-come first-serve basis.

“For a close satellite service society, we have been in the industry for long and we know all the operators, including Starlink,” said Patompob Suwansiri, deputy chief executive and chief commercial officer of Thaicom. “We are looking to open for partnership with any LEO satellite providers. We have more knowledge about the regional market than global players do so we can support their businesses.”

LEO satellites operate 500-2,000km from Earth’s surface, versus traditional communication satellites, also known as geostationary satellites, that orbit at around 36,000km. The lower orbit means lower latency in signal transmission.

Furthermore, LEO satellites are projected by some to have strong business potential because they can beam the internet all over the globe.