Anuchit Nguyen, Bloomberg
Bangkok: Shin Satellite Pcl, Thailand’s only commercial satellite operator, will start offering high-speed Internet services in India in the third quarter to tap demand in Asia’s fourth-biggest economy.
The Nonthaburi-based company, controlled by Temasek Holdings Pte, will complete the construction of a satellite gateway station in India in the next three months, Dumrong Kasemset, Shin Satellite’s executive chairman, told a meeting of analysts and investors in Bangkok today.
The company is counting on rising sales of its satellite Internet service in China and India, the world’s two most populous nations, to return to profit this year. Sales in China were slower than expected because regulatory approvals were delayed and a marketing plan was required, Dumrong said.
“We will have the first customers in India as soon as the gateway is completed,” Dumrong said. “There is strong demand for our product in India.”
Shin Satellite is looking to boost sales from satellite Internet service after higher costs from the launch of the $405 million Ipstar orbiter plunged the company into a loss of 45.6 million baht ($1.3 million or Rs5.3 crore) in 2006, its first since 1997. The satellite is designed to offer wireless high-speed Internet services from India to Australia.
The company on 14 May reported a profit of 134.9 million baht in the first quarter, rebounding from a loss of 58.2 million baht a year earlier, as the stronger baht reduced the value of its foreign-currency loans. Sales in the quarter dropped 7.9% to 1.62 billion baht in the first quarter.
Singapore’s state-owned Temasek gained control of Shin Satellite early last year, when the state-owned investment company led a takeover of its parent Shin Corp. from investors including the family of then Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was subsequently ousted in a September coup.