AIS lands deal to broadcast Olympics

AIS lands deal to broadcast Olympics

Aiming to draw users to broadband service

Saran Phaloprakarn, head of AIS's fixed broadband business, speaks at Tuesday's AIS Fibre press conference at the Blue Elephant restaurant.
Saran Phaloprakarn, head of AIS's fixed broadband business, speaks at Tuesday's AIS Fibre press conference at the Blue Elephant restaurant.

Telecom operator Advanced Info Service (AIS) has obtained a sub-licence to broadcast live the 2020 Olympic Games from Tokyo and three other Olympic-related events via its mobile platform, set-top box and website.

The three Olympic-related events comprise the Lausanne Winter Youth Olympics in 2020, the Winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022 and the Dakar Youth Olympics in 2022.

The move is aimed at attracting customers to fixed broadband service under AIS Fibre amid tough competition in the broadband internet market, AIS said.

Saran Phaloprakarn, head of AIS's fixed broadband business, said AIS has partnered with Plan B Media, which holds the rights to broadcast the Olympic Games in Thailand, to acquire a sub-licence to air the events live through AIS Playbox, AIS Play application and website

Viewers can also watch highlights of the competitions and learn the history of past games, he said.

At present, must-have rules issued by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) oblige free TV broadcasters to transmit seven major sporting events, including the Olympics, through terrestrial, cable and satellite platforms. The rules do not cover mobile platforms.

AIS is working to upgrade its network and ensure 1Gbps internet speed to reach over 1 million subscribers by year-end. Current subscribers number 910,000, Mr Saran said.

AIS Fibre was launched in 2015, with subscribers reaching 44,000 by the end of that year. Subscribers soared to 301,500 in 2016, 521,500 in 2017 and 730,500 in 2018.

The company targets 2 million subscribers in three years, driven by innovative products offered, Mr Saran said.

"Some 2 million household subscribers are crucial because this would facilitate economies of scale in the operation and ensure long-term sustainable growth," he said.

AIS Fibre operates through three strategic concepts: faster, better and simple.

In the face of tough competition, the company must become a game-changer in the fixed broadband market by focusing on customer engagement, internet speeds and service prices, Mr Saran said.

AIS Fibre on Tuesday launched a new internet package called Super Mesh WiFi, offering 1Gbps home fibre internet for the first time.

The service offers a high-speed fibre internet experience in every corner of a home.

Mr Saran said most consumers use the internet via WiFi and require consistent internet speed in all areas of a two-storey home. But a normal WiFi router is unable to send the signal to all corners of the house.

AIS is touting a router that can send a WiFi signal to every area of a home.

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