Citing comments made by Setthapong Malisuwan, the vice-chairman of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), the Bangkok Post reports that Chinese companies have expressed interest in bidding for 3G licences in Thailand. Col Setthapong reportedly added that western companies are avoiding the Thai telecoms sector because of concern over the Foreign Business Act and regulations governing foreign shareholder control. The watchdog expects to finalise the terms for an auction of concessions in the 2100MHz band by the third quarter of 2012, as well as drafting new regulations regarding foreign ownership.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, state-owned operator TOT is currently the sole holder of 2100MHz wireless spectrum. However, the three nationwide private sector GSM operators – Shin Corp subsidiary Advanced Info Services (AIS), Telenor-backed Digital Total Access Communications (DTAC) and domestically-owned True Move – all launched commercial W-CDMA/HSPA networks using the 800MHz-900MHz frequency bands in July-August 2011.