The UCOM group was founded on June 7, 1960 by Mr. Suchin Bencharongkul and Mrs. Kanchana Bencharongkul. The initial company name was United Industry Limited Partnership or UNIP. During its early years, the company operated its business as an agent of "Motorola" – telecommunication equipment. It was authorized to be only the sole certified agent in Thailand. On June 27, 1980, UNIP transferred all of its businesses to United Communication Industry Company Limited to continue its operations. Concurrently, it was registered with 10 million Baht as its initial registered capital.
On August 25, 1993, UCOM group transferred the company registration to a public company, together with issuing the new name "United Communication Industry Public Company Limited". It increased the registered capital to 1,170 million Baht.
1994: This year was a fruitful and memorable year. The UCOM group grew and enhanced its capabilities. We can also call this year the 'golden' year of the UCOM group. The company was registered in the stock market. The public’s interest in the Company’s common shares went well beyond expectations. As a result, the company was able to develop and enhance the telecommunication system to response with the demand for communications throughout the nation. The company’s mobile phone system, Worldphone800, was registered on the '01' system and this had brought about a fair and competitive service market..
1995: The UCOM group had a strong financial position. Subsidiaries of the UCOM group were able to increase their earnings significantly. In addition, Total Access Communication Company Limited or TAC (one of the UCOM group’s subsidiaries) was registered in the Singapore stock market with 7,000 million Baht registered capital.
1996: The company operation was affected by the economic recession and rapid changes being experienced in Thai society, especially the changes in the political context, which directly affected investment. However, the UCOM group was able to adjust business strategies and policies in order to cope with the situation in an effective manner. Also, the UCOM group merged with the Communication Authority of Thailand to establish the new company named 'United Information Highway Company Limited' or 'UIH' to provide high-speed communication services via fiber optic networks.
1997: UCOM had to face with economic and financial crisis including the continuous fluctuation of exchange rate. As a result, the company’s debts were increasing while still having benefit from its business operations, However, UCOM group still maintained its goal and reputation as a leading telecommunications service provider in Thailand.
1998: Thailand's economy started to recover. The economy was expected to expand year on year, especially in the telecommunication sector. To ensure operational effectiveness, the UCOM group re-organized its business structures and classified the businesses into seven sectors by mainly concentrating on the domestic operations, which are Broadband IT Service Group, Subscriber Group, Network Group, Trunk Radio Group, Radio Broadcasting Group, Web Brand Group and Cellular Group.
1999: Thailand's economic recession might decrease the company's performance. Also the exchange rate fluctuation might affect the debts structure. However, these factors did not have a negative impact on UCOM’s core strengths and reputation. On the contrary, the UCOM group accepted them as a challenge to improve its operational effectiveness by introducing new effective systems outsourcing, communication services and channels expansion, market capabilities and services improvement and employee development in order to response with the changing market demand. In addition, another social key role that UCOM maintained was supporting youth education by providing scholarship program
2000: The UCOM group adjusted its shareholder structure by the arrival of the new shareholder, 'Telenor', which is a well-known telecommunication company in Europe. It was to strengthen technologies and competition capability for the company. In addition, it had continued improving its operational effectiveness to support new systematic working approaches that aligned with the global standard. Concurrently, the UCOM group also maintained its good corporate governance, internal management improvement and partner & customer relationship maintenance in order to build up investors' and shareholders' confidence.
2001: UCOM group re-classified its business sectors once again into three groups, which comprised of the network solutions group, wireless services group and online high-speed communication services group. Downsizing the business sector reduced the complexity of business operations which resulted in the company having a clearer business mission and direction and being more efficient. At the same time, the company also placed emphasis on business development and improvement together with being a supportive organization based on an auditable management approach.
2002: This year was the most competitive year of the decade. The market was constituted by more services and had more competitors as the market grew with increasing customer demand. To reduce complexity and to have more flexibility, UCOM group and Total Access Communication Public Company Limited founded United Distribution Business Company Limited (UD). The new company operated the distribution businesses for cellular phone and telephone cards through a number of domestic distributors, which were DTAC shops, ‘Rak Ban Kerd shops and other depots throughout the nation. Moreover, the company transferred all Telecom Equipment Sales & Services businesses to United Telecom Sales and Services Company Limited or UTEL (previously known as Rural Telephone Service Company Limited or RTS).
Also, the high-speed communication business under the management of United Information Highway Company Limited or UIH was another business that was faced with significant competition in the market. However, with sophisticated services and modern network technologies, they brought about continuous growth for the high-speed communication business. IDC Research Limited. had made a study which revealed the fact that UCOM group’s high-speed signal circuit leasing service was considered to be the most reliable service provider in Thailand.
UCOM re-financed the existing loan structure, which had been in existence since the financial structure adjustment (during the economic crisis – 1997). As a result, the company’s financial position was improved. The company could reduce all risks from exchange rate fluctuation with regard to all liabilities because all debts were turned to 'Baht' exchange. The company also saved on interest payments because of the new lower rate of loan interest.
Throughout 2002, the company improved in a number of ways that were required to support the major changes in telecommunication business in Thailand. In a highly competitive environment, the company had provided high - tech telecommunication innovations for people from all walks of life, so that they could benefit from the most modernized telecommunication and information networks in the country. These networks connected people in the company’s social projects, such as 'Sam Nuk Rak Ban Kerd project, 'Ruam Duay Chuay Kan' Co-operative project, and ‘Rak Ban Kerd’ convenient store project.
2003: This was a year of 'changes'. The telecommunication business changed rapidly in line with economic development and government policies. All relevant government sectors were transformed from government enterprises into public companies (e.g. Communication Authority of Thailand and Telephone Organization of Thailand) to ensure readiness for a free trade market environment emerging as a result of government policies.
The implementation of the Royal Development Projects in accordance with His Majesty's initiatives on "Self–Sufficient Economic" and "the New Theory" also depended on the distribution of information through telecommunication network.
Moreover, the new government policies under the leadership of Thailand’s Prime Minister, Dr. Taksin Chinawatra, directs the working approach of government sectors to be 'e-Government' to develop communication links and cooperation via on-line data communication by using the Internet and Intranet.
The UCOM group ensured its readiness by preparing the nation’s data communication network services to manage the information and providing on-line businesses to manage all government sectors at macro and micro levels. This readiness has been supported by the installment of Internet protocol on fiber optic network, which is provided by subsidiaries of UCOM groups. Nowadays, the service is able to provide to both government and private sectors.
With respect to content services, which will be used to increase the earning and customer base of the company, Total Access Communication Public Company Limited or DTAC merged the registered capital with ISSP Company to establish the Connect One Company Limited, together with the new website named 'www.u-nee.com'. This particular website mainly contains the most up-to-date contents that are related to the cellular phone demand at all levels.
To provide all of the Thai population with unlimited ongoing learning potential, the company has developed the technology to provide the 'e-Learning' concept by utilizing the information system concept. The Thai population is now able to continue in further study, enhance their qualifications or increase their skills in specialized occupations. Also, the UCOM group has developed a joint program with the Technology School, Thammasat University in the name of 'Learn2gether' to support 'on-line' learning. This program has been extended to other institutes to cope with various kinds of specialties.
Seven hundred and sixty participants in 'Sam Nuk Rak Bahn Kerd' project from every province in Thailand (more than a half of the first project alumni) returned to their provinces to contribute their knowledge and expertise to their respective areas.
Business development in the data communication network of UCOM group will continue to link with and respond to the ongoing changes in Thai society for the benefit of all.
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