NBTC issues 3G licences; group of senators appeal

10 Dec 2012

The five-member telecoms committee of Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has decided to formally issue the three 2100MHz 3G mobile licences to the winners of the auction held on 16 October, after four members voted in favour and one abstained. Committee chairman Settapong Malisuwan asserted that the 15-year concessions are effective from 7 December and that the three winners, Advanced Info Service (AIS), Digital Total Access Communication (DTAC) and True Corp, will officially receive their licences at the NBTC’s premises this week. As reported by Thai newspaper The Nation, commissioner Suthiphon Thaveechaiyagarn said the telecoms committee had also passed a resolution to attach a condition to the licences requiring 3G network operators to offer voice and data tariffs 15% lower than the average of all service operators in the country as of 7 December.

Meanwhile, a group of 40 senators and the Green Politics Group have petitioned Thailand’s Office of the Ombudsman to request an appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court, after failing to force a court hearing against the allegedly ‘non-competitive’ 3G auction. The appeal aims to overturn the previous decision which dismissed an objection to the endorsement of licence auction results by the NBTC’s telecoms committee. Ombudsman spokesman Rakke-chai Chachai said the office had 30 days to lodge the appeal.