& cplSiteName &

Will Optical Suffer From Thailand's Political Unrest?

Carolyn Mathas
News Analysis
Carolyn Mathas

When the government of Thailand imposes a 60-days state of emergency, grenades begin to explode, and a general election faces a possible delay due to social unrest, one expects there might be jitters within the optical components industry, which still relies on facilities in the Southeast Asia country for some of its manufacturing capacity.

It seems any concerns about delivery delays, transportation woes, and component shortages from Fabrinet, which manufactures, assembles, and tests products on behalf of companies such as Finisar Corp. (Nasdaq: FNSR) and JDSU (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU), are unwarranted -- at least so far. But a key Fabrinet plant sits only 30 miles from the Thai capital, so companies that rely on a smooth global optical supply chain will be keeping a close eye on events in the country.

The anti-government protest that started four months ago is now heating up. Protesters have occupied Bangkok since mid-January in an attempt to force Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to resign.

Component company representatives, fearing the effects on their own customers, would not talk on the record about the impact of the unrest. But comments from individuals who spoke with Light Reading include:

  • If you went outside of the neighborhoods where the demonstrations are taking place, you wouldn't even know there's a problem.
  • It's like Occupy Wall Street, which had little impact on those not in the financial district.
  • So far, there has been no effect on the optical component supply chain and transportation -- we don't expect there to be any.
  • Thailand has been through this before with both political strife and natural disasters. The latter were more disruptive.
  • It's really business as usual.

Political instability has plagued Thailand for the past 85 years. According to a Human Rights Watch count, the country has had "18 coups, 23 military governments, and 9 military-dominated governments" since 1932. Also, in 2010, the country was hit by its worst flooding in more than 50 years. Total economic losses in excess of $45 billion and a multi-year recovery period ensued. (See Thailand's Floods Will Affect Optical Sales and Optical Industry Adjusting After Thai Floods.)

The protests are likely to have an economic impact. Tourism and Bangkok businesses are set to feel it the most. Mazda, Nissan, and Toyota have reported drops in Bangkok showroom sales. Tourism will suffer the most. This month, 45 countries issued travel warnings, but they are solely for rally sites.

In response to the upheaval, the Finance Ministry lowered economic growth projections for 2014 to 3.1% (versus 6.4% in 2012), primarily due to lower tourism revenue.

Moody's Investors Service called the protests a "key credit-negative feature for the sovereign state" and said they will "weigh on an already fragile growth outlook for 2014." So far, though, investment activity has not suffered.

For now, there appears to be little reason for the optical sector to fret.

— Carolyn Mathas, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/28/2014 | 8:44:22 AM
Double booking
Could result in double booking.
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
Wednesday, November 9, 1:00PM EST
MANO 101
Toby Ford, AVP, Cloud Technology, Strategy & Planning, AT&T
Friday, November 11, 1:00PM EST
Open Source for NFV MANO
Wednesday, November 16, 1:00PM EST
SDN 101
John Isch, Practice Director, Network & Voice, Orange Business Services
Friday, November 18, 1:00PM EST
SDN & Open Source
Christopher W. Rice, Senior Vice President of AT&T Labs, Domain 2.0 Architecture and Design
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
OneAccess NFV Solutions

10|26|16   |   5:30   |   (0) comments

Antoine Clerget, CTO of OneAccess, discusses how his company has expanded its product line from enterprise-class routers to include a universal virtualized CPE as well as a suite of VNFs to help telco customers evolve to an NFV future.
LRTV Custom TV
The Journey Toward Carrier-Grade WiFi

10|26|16   |   3:39   |   (0) comments

In this Light Reading interview, Dave Sperling, CTO at Smith Micro Software and active participant of the WBA's policy working group, discusses the need for carrier-grade WiFi. Technical and business challenges slowing the fulfillment of this goal are addressed, as well as management strategies that will enable communication service providers to optimize end user ...
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE BBWF Highlights

10|26|16   |     |   (0) comments

At BBWF 2016, ZTE showed a broad range of innovative technologies that are kick-starting an ultrafast broadband journey.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation Technology Beyond DOCSIS 3.1

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Liu Jianhua speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Hybrid Video Solutions to Change TV, Change Future

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Ian Locke speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Future-Oriented Giga Coax Network

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Allen Wang speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei at SCTE 2016

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and take a sneak peek at the Huawei booth at SCTE 2016.
LRTV Custom TV
Assuring Network Quality in a Rapidly Changing Environment

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

As the rate of change and complexity increases in agile networks, the importance of introducing DevOps methodologies for integrating active test and assurance solutions throughout the full service lifecycle becomes critical to ensure that customers are experiencing the service quality they demand. The industry landscape is changing, and software-based test and ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
A10 Networks on Service Providers' Industry Needs

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders hears how A10 enables service providers to accelerate, secure and optimize their application delivery to drive down costs, enhance service availability, and better respond to customer requirements, so they can improve customer satisfaction, monetize their network, and grow revenues.
LRTV Custom TV
New NFV Use Cases for Cable TV

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

A large number of NFV use cases are focused on the enterprise domain, looking at virtualization of customer-premises equipment (CPE). To date, there has been little focus on the use cases and business case for virtualization of the video content delivery networks required to deliver unicast and streaming video to consumers. Amdocs commissioned Analysys Mason to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Meet the Future Workforce: New Faces, Expectations & Motivations

10|19|16   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

Millennials and their younger peers, Gen Z, expect more out of their network and more out of their work. Intel's Lynn Comp shares how the industry can prepare for this new generation of workers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE Global Services User Congress 2016 Highlights

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

ZTE held its 2nd Global Service User Conference in Dusseldorf on October 13-14. Representatives from network operators, leading industry analysts and ZTE senior expertsattended the event, exploring the best practice in managed services and the vision to transform network operations into the operations center of the future (OpCF) in the software-defined networking ...
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Trump: Dump AT&T/TW & Comcast/NBC
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/24/2016
Google Fiber Hits Pause Button, Scales Back
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/26/2016
T-Mobile: AT&T & TW Means Ma Bell Not Focused on Mobile
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 10/24/2016
Sprint: Revenue up 3%, Capex Will Rise Again
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 10/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
Animals with Phones
'Oh, Were You Looking for This?' Click Here
'I was just playing some games...'
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.