Thai telecoms news journal The Nation reports that the country’s industry watchdog, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), yesterday officially banned the practice of applying reconnecting fees for post-paid cellular telecom services. The online paper says the ruling applies to all networks on an indiscriminate basis. Until now, mobile network operators have disconnected anyone who failed to pay their monthly bill within a certain period and then charged them between THB107 and THB214 (USD2.94 and USD5.94) to reconnect them. In February this year the NTC upheld its ruling that Total Access Communication (DTAC) had to stop collecting THB107 from subscribers for reconnecting their contract service. Since then, all domestic cellular operators, including DTAC, have apparently stopped collecting the fee, pending the official ruling.
In a separate development, the NTC has also approved plans to select a consultancy firm to design the auction process for third-generation (3G) mobile broadband-spectrum licences. The NTC is expected to engage the consultant within 45 days and aims to auction four 2.1GHz licences in the third quarter.