3G: to be or not to be? Question to be answered on Thursday

20 Sep 2010

The Bangkok Post reports that Thailand’s Supreme Administrative Court is to give a ruling on Thursday 23 September 2010, on an appeal by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) against the Central Administrative Court’s injunction on the regulator’s 3G auction, which had been due to begin today. Unless the higher court issues a reversal of the decision, the injunction – granted at the request of state-owned CAT Telecom – bars the NTC from holding a 3G auction until the Constitution Court rules on its authority to distribute the 2100MHz frequencies or until a new regulator, the National Broadcasting & Telecoms Commission (NBTC), is formed.

Meanwhile, the Post writes that the government has said it will step up efforts to push through the Frequency Allocation Bill, which will enable the NBTC to be set up and, in the event of Thursday’s decision going CAT’s way, clear the path for a 3G auction early next year. In his weekly television broadcast yesterday, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said a government whip will work to ensure the Bill receives parliamentary approval so that the process to select NBTC commission members can begin by year’s end or in early 2011.