RealTime IT News

Orientation Expands Network With Launch of Thai Portal

On the last day of 1998, Orientation added a Thai country portal to its rapidly growing international network of portals.

"This is the perfect culmination to a feature packed year for Orientation," said company spokesman Phil Ingram. "We have launched six regional products and six country products in six months - that is an average of two a month. The rate will go up next year."

Valiant Corporation, a Thai Internet company specializing in cybercafes and commercial Web development, will manage Orientation Thailand under license from Hong Kong's The Black Box, creators of the global network.

"Orientation Thailand will play an important role as a catalyst in the further development of the Thai Internet market," said Kuthep Narula, Valiant's marketing director.

Thailand currently has approximately 100,000 dial-up accounts and is projected to expand to 300,000 subscribers by the year 2000.

"Thailand has as many Internet users as Singapore and more room to grow in the long run, the financial crisis notwithstanding," Ingram said. "If the big US companies can't see past Hong Kong, China and Singapore, then we will see past for them."

According to Ingram, the Thai portal will feature an extensive collection of content about the Southeast Asian country in both English and Thai including local news sources such as The Bangkok Post, The Nation and Thairath.

Like the network's other sites, Orientation Thailand will contain an index produced by The Black Box's much heralded robot search technology.

Moreover, the portal site will have an array of travel information published in conjunction with the popular Lonely Planet online guide as well as a currency converter and five-day weather forecasts for Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket.

Orientation also has country portals for Costa Rica, Sri Lanka, Romania, Kenya, and the United Arab Emirates and regional portals for Asia, Africa, Central & Eastern Europe, Latin America & the Caribbean, the Middle East and Oceania.