mu Space, SES and Hughes to provide broadband access to rural Thailand

13 March 2018 | Natalie Bannerman


mu Space is partnering with SES Networks and Hughes Network Systems to deploy satellite-based broadband services to rural communities in Thailand.

mu Space will deliver the new services by contracting capacity on SES satellites – SES-8 and SES-12 when it is launched and using the Jupiter system from Hughes Network Systems. The start-up satellite firm says that it will improve the lives of Thailand’s citizens by providing reliable and affordable satellite-based broadband for telecom providers and businesses.

James Yenbamroong 220 x 250“At mu Space, our mission is to deliver nationwide and reliable connectivity to everyone in Thailand, to improve the quality of life of the local people,” said James Yenbamroong, founder and CEO at mu Space. “As such, we have been searching for the ideal partners to ensure that we can deliver reliable broadband services at the right price point. Together with the global experience of SES Networks and Hughes, we are confident of the high service quality that we will jointly deliver in Thailand.”

Only 12% (8.3 million) of Thailand’s 69 million population currently has access to broadband, according to the Thai telecom industry database. In response to this the Thai government has launched a number of initiatives, including its National Broadband Policy and a new economic model called Thailand 4.0 that aims to increase broadband penetration to 95% of the Thai population by the year 2020, and to transform the country into an innovation-driven economy.

“In rural and underserved areas, satellite is the best solution for broadband access, as it’s much more affordable and faster to deploy compared to land-based internet infrastructure. We are honoured that mu Space has selected SES Networks as their partner of choice in bridging the digital divide in Thailand and are thrilled at the opportunity of empowering Thai citizens with opportunities of the digital economy to improve their lives,” added Imran Malik, vice president, of fixed data, Asia-Pacific at SES Networks.

Engineers installing a satellite antenna in Thailand 680 width

“In ex-urban and rural communities, terrestrial networks are difficult to roll out and costly, contrasted by the new generation of satellites and access technologies which bring affordable access to people anywhere cross continent-wide coverage areas,” said Ramesh Ramaswamy, senior vice president and general manager, International division at Hughes. “We are excited that mu Space has chosen our JUPITER System and look forward to working with them and SES Networks to deliver on their mission of bringing broadband to everyone in Thailand.”

Back in December, mu Space became the first start-up in Thailand to acquire a satellite licence in Thailand, by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission. Under the 15 year licence terms, mu Space will be able to operate and provision satellite based services until the year 2032.