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NBTC Moves Forward With Radio, TV Digitization

Will hand off analog TV frequencies to digital radio stations

Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission will allocate existing analog TV frequencies for digital radio later this year, according to the Bangkok Post.

The regulator expects the digitization of TV will be completed in the next two years, with the second stage of network expansion to cover more than 80 percent of Thai households by June 2015.

State-run broadcasters such as the Public Relations Department, the Royal Thai Army and MCOT Plc are designated as TV network providers, and they may also be awarded licenses to operate digital radio, said reports.

The radio business is transforming to a licensing regime at the same time as it switches to a digital platform. The NBTC is examining the use of radio frequencies by government agencies such as MCOT, the Public Relations Department, parliament and state universities, said the Bangkok Post.

The regulator allowed Kasetsart University to continue to broadcast four radio stations, but the NBTC will consider the necessity of frequency use, as the permission runs to April 2017.

Furthermore, every government agency holding a radio frequency must clarify their frequency use to the NBTC so that it may be scrutinized.