Thailand’s Digital Economy and Society Ministry is reportedly putting forward a proposal to merge the country’s two state-run operators, CAT and TOT, by the middle of next year.
According to The Bangkok Post, the merger has been approved by the State Enterprise Policy Office, clearing the digital ministry to put it to the Thai cabinet before October. The government has made several previous attempts to reverse the fortunes of the loss-making operators.
In a statement to The Bangkok Post, the Digital Economy and Society Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta said that merging the units was “the best solution to eliminate redundancy of their business operations, as well as creating added value for their existing assets.”
The ministry has given the operators 45 days to provide a detailed outline of how the merged unit’s management and staff would be structured, along with details on how its contracts would be affected alongside its valuation and assets.
If the proposals are accepted, the operators would combine and rebrand as National Telecom Co, then be placed under the remit of the Finance Ministry. The merged company could begin offering services as early as Q2 2020.
Thailand’s government has long advocated merging the two state operators as a means of streamlining their offerings, which include mobile, broadband and international gateways. Between them, TOT and CAT have 20,000 employees and the government is confident that a merger would not lead to any redundancies.