[bangkok post] The cabinet on Tuesday approved the Council of Economic Ministers' proposal to set up a joint committee to look into ways to convert the concession contracts of the three private 2G operators into licences, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said.
He said the joint committee will have a month to complete its findings before the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is scheduled to open the 3G auction in September.
"If we can convert the concession contracts, not only would there be a fair competition but duplicated investment would be minimised by about 30 to 40 per cent, or about 30 billion to 40 billion baht," Mr Abhisit said.
Concession owners TOT and CAT Telecom will need to set up their own subsidiary companies if they want to take part in the competition, and they would pay the same licence fees as other private operators, he said.
Information and Communications Technology Minister Juti Krairiksh said rumolurs his ministry had already terminated the concession contracts were incorrect.
"The concession contracts of the three private 2G operators [AIS, DTAC and True Move] have not yet been terminated," Mr Juti said.
The joint committee will comprise representatives from the ICT and Finance ministries and it will take the people's and the government's interests into account, he said.
"I will discuss the issue with the NTC tomorrow," the minister said. "This is only the beginning of the process at the moment."
The government will not intervene in the NTC's 3G licence bidding, he added.
Cabinet approves 2G concession conversion