New NAVA for maritime transformation
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New NAVA for maritime transformation

Nation Space and Technology (NSAT), a joint venture between satellite service provider Thaicom and state telecom enterprise CAT Telecom, has rolled out an upgraded version of maritime service platform NAVA to bolster data connectivity effectiveness for vessel operations.

Originally created by Thaicom in 2018, NAVA is aimed at supporting high-speed internet connectivity at sea through a broadband satellite, which is vital for vessel operations and personal connectivity for crew and passengers.

Dhanant Subhadrabandhu, chairman of the NSAT's Board of Directors, said NAVA by NSAT is the new flagship marine digital solutions for ships and offshore operators across Thailand and Asia-Pacific.

The platform provides high-speed internet connectivity, online safety and enhancement of operational efficiency out at sea.

The platform draws expertise from both organisations -- digital solutions and telecommunication infrastructure by CAT Telecom and satellite operations from Thaicom.

"This collaboration will leverage the capabilities of maritime solutions to meet customers' needs at competitive prices," he said.

The maritime digital solutions by NSAT will enhance the maritime industry's digital transformation, helping the development of smart ships and creating a unique experience for customers, he said. Customer support is also provided around the clock.

CAT Telecom president Sanpachai Huvanandana said NAVA by NSAT provides maritime digital solutions with flexible options for users to add on various value-added services from CAT such as voice, cloud, data centre and CCTV systems to serve customers with end-to-end services that drive business growth.

Thaicom chief executive Anant Kaewruamvongs said the platform will be the first step in the successful expansion of a communications network to cover both land and sea.

"This helps increase the opportunity to develop the telecommunications industry in Thailand and Asia-Pacific in the future," he said.

Thaicom's NAVA has 100 offshore vessel subscriptions with an average revenue per user (ARPU) of 20,000-50,000 baht per month, he said.

Four vessel customers have subscribed to the NSAT's new NAVA by NSAT.

Yesterday, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) conducted a public hearing of its draft announcement on criteria and methods to allot four packages of satellite network filings.

The first package consists of 50.5°East and 51°E orbital slots and the second is for 78.5°E. The third involves 119.5°E and 120°E and last is for 126°E and 142°E.

Air Marshal Thanapant Raicharoen, deputy secretary-general of the NBTC, said the first package had a starting bid price of 728.2 million baht, the second at 366.5 million baht, the third at 748.6 million baht and the fourth at 364.7 million baht. The tally is 2.2 billion baht.

The bid winners must pay in three instalments -- 10% in the first year, 40% in the fourth and the remaining 50% in the sixth.

Buyers are obliged to build satellites to provide services within three years. The licences for orbital slot usage run for 20 years.

Referring to the selection process, AM Thanapant said the first step concerns considering bidders' proposals based on their experience and capability.

Bid prices will then be considered, with those offering the highest bid prices in each package selected, he said.

The public hearings will be held until Dec 15. The bidding is expected to take place before the end of March next year.

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