CAT angles for digital shift

CAT angles for digital shift

Firm targeting B2.2bn in related revenue

The state telecom enterprise CAT Telecom plans to double revenue of its digital business from 1.1 billion baht last year to 2.2 billion by 2020, thanks to the digital transformation of the country, especially the government's digital innovation park project developed under the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) roadmap.

The move is part of CAT's positioning switch from a telecom service provider to a digital service provider, starting this year, said Dhanant Subhadrabandhu, senior executive vice-president for business and service.

CAT's digital business comprises cloud computing, cybersecurity and solutions, and e-business.

CAT's digital service is very small, with annual revenue only 4% of its 43 billion baht total last year. The company's digital business is growing more than 30% per year.

Mr Dhanant said CAT plans to partner with global players in digital business and cross-industry partners in a drive to ensure sustainable growth of its innovative digital services.

CAT's core positioning is as a trustworthy service provider for operations of all state agencies and enterprises. As a local implementer, the company owns both hard and soft infrastructure.

"Our digital service will definitely be able to generate 8-10% of total revenue by 2020," he said.

Mr Dhanant said cloud service will form a core component of CAT's digital service, as enterprise demand for big data management systems is significantly growing.

"Cloud service complements data centre infrastructure and CAT is strong in both areas," he said.

Mr Dhanant said CAT now offers data centre services in seven major provinces, entailing more than 1,000 racks of servers.

CAT started providing cloud computing service in 2012 under the Iris (Intelligent Resilient Information System) brand.

CAT's cloud service ranks second domestically, valued at 3 billion baht in 2016, after Internet Thailand.

The domestic market value for cloud computing business has grown at a double-digit clip for four consecutive years due to increasing demand.

Mr Dhanant said last year, CAT Telecom launched the country's first prepaid cloud computing service, aimed at providing easy-to-use and affordable digital infrastructure to capitalise on domestic SMEs and startups.

CAT's prepaid cloud computing service is designed to serve small companies and entrepreneurs that need an easy-to-use cloud data platform to contact service staff.

One benefit to SMEs and startups using CAT's cloud service is that clients can avoid unexpected costs that often arise from foreign providers.

Mr Dhanant said CAT won the 2017 Frost & Sullivan Infrastructure as a Service Provider Excellence Award, in recognition of the company's ability to deliver cloud computing service.

He said the government's digital innovation park project, located in Sri Racha, Chon Buri province, has been another generator of revenue, both directly and indirectly, for CAT.

The Digital Park project is currently being developed under a five-year roadmap (2018-2022).

The project, a part of the EEC, has been divided into three zones: innovation space, university 4.0 and digital academy, and living space.

Mr Dhanant said CAT will directly benefit from property development revenue, including construction of infrastructure and utilities.

Some 8-10% of EEC projects require infrastructure and utility development.

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