The 2012-16 master plan for broadcasting took effect on April 4.
Under the plan, issued by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), a digital broadcasting system will be operating within four years.
At least 80% of households in large provinces must receive a digital signal for radio and TV by year five.
Vice-chairman Natee Sukolrat said in the first eight years of the digital era, users will have to pay 500 to 1,500 baht for a set-top box to watch digital TV.
The NBTC expects to issue one or two licences for companies building digital broadcasting infrastructure, a few licences for digital network service providers and up to 50 licences for broadcasters.
The roadmap set out a time frame for the granting of digital TV licences.
The NBTC plans to grant infrastructure licences this August, licences for providing services to the public in December, commercial licences in August 2013 and licences for providing services to communities in December 2013.
Col Natee said the digital TV roadmap calls for the shifting of all analogue services to digital within 10 years.
The analogue system will gradually be switched off from January 2015.
The NBTC has begun allowing digital broadcasting trials on free TV stations Channels 3, 5, 7, 9, NBT and ThaiPBS. Trial broadcasts with high-definition systems are planned.
About the author
- Writer: Komsan Tortermvasana
Position: Senior Business Reporter