BANGKOK, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Thailand’s spending on information technology is expected to reach $4.36 billion in 2008, up 9.3 percent from 2007 due mainly to government investment in infrastructure, market research firm IDC said.
That growth rate would make Thailand Asia’s fourth biggest growing market after India, China and Vietnam, research manager Thaweesit Kun-Ongkhananon told reporters on Tuesday.
Last year, Thailand’s IT spending was hit by a long political crisis and uncertainty about the new government policy on IT spending could slow growth in the second half of 2008, he said.
Hardware was expected to account for 73 percent of spending, with the largest portion on personal computers.
Thailand’s telecoms spending was expected to be around $7.77 billion in 2008, down slightly from $7.8 billion in 2007 due to declining revenues at fixed line firms, Thaweesit said.
The launch of third-generation (3G) mobile services should boost spending in the Thai telecoms industry by around 5 percent to $8.12 billion in 2009, he said.
The top two telecom firms — Advanced Info Service ADVA.BK and Total Access Communication (DTAC.BK) TACC.SI — have agreed to cooperate with state-run operators on network development, including 3G.
Analysts expect 3G commercial operations, which have been delayed for several years, to start in 2009. ($1 = 33.20 Baht) (Reporting by Khettiya Jittapong; Editing by Michael Battye)