Minister backs TOT to protect its revenues; final say down to NTC

22 Nov 2006

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Minister Sitthichai Pokai-udom yesterday voiced support for state telco TOT ’s plea to delay the enforcement of a new interconnection regime for a year. He said the ministries of ICT and finance, which own major stakes in the operator, need more time to find a solution that will benefit all parties. Last week, Thailand’s second and third placed cellcos DTAC and True Move agreed to stop paying TOT existing network access charges and signed an interconnection charge deal to share revenues fairly, based on call traffic. However, access charges – a large chunk of TOT’s total revenues – are stipulated in the concession-based agreements the private companies operate under, and cannot be abandoned unless all parties involved in the deal give approval, the minister said. Mr Sitthichai added that he would hold meetings with all parties concerned within the next few months. But he stressed that the ICT Ministry could not give a direct order and the National Telecommunications Commission would have the final say in whether enforcement of the interconnection charge should be delayed.

Thailand, TOT