ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter
Telecommunication

Thai state telecoms TOT and CAT merge to create 'National Telecom'

No job cuts planned; companies lost share to market liberalization

A woman checks her phone in Bangkok: TOT and CAT lost monopolies -- and most of their market shares -- after Thailand opened the telecom market to competition in the mid-2000s.

BANGKOK -- Thailand's state-owned telecommunications operators TOT and CAT Telecom on Thursday completed a long-delayed merger made necessary by strong private-sector competition.

The new company, rebranded as National Telecom, will consolidate overlapping administrative staff such as those in the financial, human resources and legal departments. The process eventually will expand to other divisions, such as those involving information technology.

This approach will streamline operations and reduce costs, but no staff cuts are planned.

Somsak Khaosuwan, the former acting chairman of TOT, initially will serve as acting CEO of National Telecom. The company plans to boost earnings in the short term by capturing demand from public-sector agencies to introduce 5G networks.

TOT and CAT once controlled monopolies over domestic and international telephone services, respectively. That changed in the mid-2000s when Thailand opened the telecom market for competition from privately owned actors.

Since then, earnings at both companies have suffered, and their combined share of Thailand's mobile communications market apparently hovers around 2% to 3%, according to a local research firm.

The idea of a merger has been floated since the 1990s, but the move had been postponed repeatedly. This integration was scheduled for July 2020 before being put off due to the coronavirus epidemic and delays in clerical work.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends January 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more