IPStar Sales Boost Thaicom Revenue

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PARIS — Satellite fleet operator Thaicom of Thailand on Nov. 11 said service revenue from its IPStar consumer-broadband satellite increased by 53 percent in the nine months ending Sept. 30 and that the company’s conventional broadcast satellite business also showed growth.

In sharp contrast to its smaller telephone and terrestrial Internet divisions, both of which are struggling, Thaicom said its satellite services business and hardware sales for IPStar are capturing new markets, with 95 new television channels booking Thaicom 5 satellite capacity in the past year.

“The ‘hotbird’ status of Thaicom 5 is also translating into demand for Thaicom 6,” Thaicom Chief Executive Suphajee Suthumpun said in a Nov. 11 statement. “Already we have signed a transponder reservation agreement valued at over 1 billion [Thai] baht,” or $32 million.

Thaicom 6 is under construction by Orbital Sciences of Dulles, Va., and is scheduled for launch aboard a Falcon 9 rocket built by Space Exploration Technologies in 2013.

Thaicom said revenue from its Thaicom 5 satellite increased by 10.6 percent in the three months ending Sept. 30 compared with the same period a year ago.

For the nine-month period, the combined revenue of Thaicom 2 and Thaicom 5 was nearly 1.8 billion baht, up 3.8 percent from last year.

But it was the IPStar Ku-band broadband satellite whose performance drove Thaicom’s results, especially the service revenue, which increased by 54 percent, to 1.18 billion baht, in the nine months ending Sept. 30. Sales of IPStar terminals and related hardware were up 8.2 percent, to 537 million baht.