The national telecom regulator has set July 25 for a public hearing on a draft regulation that protects mobile customers using second-generation (2G) service on networks whose concessions expire in September.
After the hearing, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) will have to endorse the draft again before being announced in the Royal Gazette.
Kaewsun Atibhodhi, the head of a subcommittee overseeing 2G plans for the transition period, said the draft will allow True Move and Digital Phone Co (DPC), the latter a unit of Advanced Info Service, to continue operating 2G service on the 1800-megahertz spectrum for one year after their concessions expire.
Under agreements with CAT Telecom, the concessions of True Move and DPC are due to expire on Sept 15.
Mr Kaewsun said the draft as written does not stipulate who can offer 2G service _ CAT, True Move or DPC.
The matter will not be settled until after September, but if the three parties cannot reach a conclusion, the NBTC has the authority to decide on its own.
Mr Kaewsun said the draft requires operators to pay most of the operating costs during the year-long transition period. They are obliged to share their revenue including licensing fees, number fees and universal service obligation fees with the NBTC.
However, operators will not be allowed to add new subscribers during this period, he said. In turn, they must accelerate migration to integrate their customers to other networks.
The NBTC will auction 25 MHz of the 1800-MHz spectrum in September 2014.
Mr Kaewsun confirmed the regulator has guaranteed that SIM cards for customers using mobile service on the 1800-MHz spectrum will still receive a signal once the concessions expire.
About the author
- Writer: Komsan Tortermvasana
Position: Senior Business Reporter