Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Thailand - Prime Minister seeks a new beginning for telecom concessions

[Bangkok Post] Uncertainties over the details of existing telecommunications concession contracts from TOT Plc and CAT Telecom must be cleared within the next six month, says Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

The clarifications would help facilitate a ''new beginning'' for the industry, he said, speaking to senior civil servants yesterday at the ICT Ministry.

Mr Abhisit said he was confident the country would begin to use 3G wireless services within the next one to two years.

Efforts to auction 3G licences have been delayed for years by legal uncertainties and confusion over the authority of the National Telecommunications Commission.

The Abhisit government has also raised concerns about the legality of existing 2G concessions between TOT and CAT with mobile operators Advanced Info Service, dtac and True Move.

The state is also worried by potential future losses if existing operators shift their customers to new 3G networks under the current concession system.

On Dec 2, economic ministers directed the TOT, CAT and the State Enterprise Policy Office to coordinate on addressing legal flaws in existing concessions.

The Council of State, the government's legal advisory body, said that more than 10 amendments to the agreements made in the past by TOT and CAT with their concession counterparties could be considered unlawful.

Abhisit wants mobile concession questions resolved

No comments: