The Telecom Committee yesterday granted a five-year licence to low-fare carrier Nok Air to offer Wi-Fi services on its flights and at airports.
"Nok Air said it would like to expand its services as a regional airline," said Korkij Danchaivichit, deputy secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC),
Nok Air follows Thai Airways International, whose application was approved last December.
Nok has not yet decided how much of its fleet and which routes would provide the service.
Nok will start the services soon, since one licensing condition is for the services to be launched within one year.
As a telecom services provider, Nok has to pay 0.25 per cent of its total revenue as a licence fee plus 3.75 per cent for its universal services obligation for rural areas.
Thaicom Plc is taking the lead in providing inflight connectivity services through the Wi-Fi platform of its satellites, targeting airlines in Thailand and Southeast Asia.
Thaicom has selected the Hughes HX System - a high-speed Internet platform of Hughes Network Systems, a global leader in broadband satellite solutions and services - to help it become competitive in the global satellite market.
Sakon Kittivatcharapong, senior vice president for ground system operations, said Thaicom has expanded inflight connectivity as a part of its mobility services, which are satellite-based communications that have expansively served sea-air-land connectivity, aimed at customers in Thailand and Southeast Asia.
With inflight connectivity, Thaicom's airline partners will gain significant advantages in operating costs while adding more value to their services.
"The Hughes HX System is an ideal choice for us and our airline partners, as it enables state-of-the-art inflight connectivity in real time," he said.
It is one of the proven solutions on Ku-band available today.
This service will also be another significant milestone for Thaicom as it intends to develop technological innovations and end-to-end solutions that provide more value-added services to customers, create a preferable reputation and gain economic benefits for the country.
This will also strengthen the capability of Thailand's satellites in being able to grow and stay competitive among the global players.
The satellite-based inflight connectivity service is one of the services that Thaicom has initiated under its "New Frontiers" strategy. Thaicom has focused on the development of integrated technological innovations, end-to-end solutions and an unlimited satellite network to increase convenience for its customers while empowering its partners to achieve continual success.