Thai operators given 90 days to conclude interconnection agreements

24 May 2006

Thailand’s telecoms operators are seeking a compromise on standard interconnection charges by the end of August to avoid intervention by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC). Operators have 90 days to settle their own reference interconnect offer (RIO) rates on a voluntary basis after providing the NTC with a maximum rate by 31 May, or they face having a standard rate set by the regulator imposed on them. The negotiations will involve cellcos AIS, DTAC, True Move, Hutchison and Thai Mobile, privately owned telcos True Corp and TT&T, as well as the two state-owned agencies, TOT Corp and CAT Telecom, all aiming to settle on ‘acceptable rates’ under a series of bilateral agreements. If operators fail to agree, the NTC could offer an additional 90-day period to renegotiate before it acts unilaterally. The new interconnection charges are set to take effect by the end of this year.