Thailand’s National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has awarded telecom operating licences to TOT Corp and CAT Telecom, both of which were corporatised last year. The NTC has also laid down minimum criteria for private operators wishing to secure a fixed line licence. Telecom operators will have to pay a licence fee of 3% of their annual revenues, stump up numbering fees of THB1 for each phone line in service, and contribute 4% of their revenues to help fund the government’s Universal Service Obligation (USO). Criteria for 3G licences and frequency allocations are expected to be published on 1 December, although the long-overdue guidelines for interconnection charges between operators have yet to be announced.
The NTC was established in late 2004 with a mandate to oversee the creation of a new regulatory framework in the sector ahead of the industry’s planned liberalisation in 2006.