CAT Telecom has filed a petition with the Central Administrative Court against the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) over rules regarding telecom infrastructure sharing.
Chief executive Kittisak Sriprasert, speaking after yesterday's move, said the state telecom enterprise believes the regulations breach constitutional law and could impede its business operations.
"The regulations are unlawful and unfair to us," he said.
The rules were published in the Royal Gazette on May 1, allowing telecom operators under CAT concessions to lease the state's network for their own benefit after concessions expire.
Mr Kittisak pointed to Section 305(1) of the constitution, which protects state enterprise contracts and concessions from subsequent legislation.
As well, he said the terms of CAT's concession clearly stipulate the authority to grant permission for any network use is reserved for concession owners only.
Mr Kittisak said Total Access Communication (DTAC) recently received approval from the NBTC's telecom committee to sublease its second-generation (2G) mobile network under a concession agreement with CAT and a DTAC subsidiary.
"We want the NBTC immediately to scrap the infrastructure sharing regulation and replace it with a practical one," said Mr Kittisak.
He said the regulator should request consent from concession owners before allowing network sharing.
As long as concessions do not expire, concession owners, not private operators, should decide whether to lease network assets to others, said Mr Kittisak.
So far, some concessionaires have yet to transfer their mobile networks to CAT under build-transfer-operate contracts.
CAT, True Move and Advanced Info Service unit Digital Phone Co are still in arbitration over a dispute about the 2G network transfer.
Col Settapong Malisuwan, chairman of the NBTC's telecom committee, insists the regulator is ready to defend itself in court. The regulations are aimed at promoting infrastructure sharing among telecom operators while encouraging both TOT and CAT to share their networks with all telecom operators.
About the author
- Writer: Komsan Tortermvasana
Position: Senior Business Reporter