CAT Telecom is seeking more details about a migration plan that would allow private mobile operators to continue service for a one-year transition period.
Kittisak: Plan must be crystal clear
It wants to know who will pay for operational losses during that time.
CAT president Kittisak Sriprasert said company executives will discuss the issue with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) this week.
The NBTC's telecom committee has already approved a draft regulation governing the migration plan for the networks of True Move and Digital Phone Co (DPC), the latter a unit of Advanced Info Service, whose concessions will expire next Sunday.
The draft was published in the Royal Gazette last month.
It allows True Move and DPC to continue operating second-generation service on the 1800-megahertz spectrum for another year.
True Move has 17 million subscribers and DPC 40,000.
The NBTC will hold an auction for the spectrum next September.
Under the Frequency Allocation Act, concession holders must return their spectra to the telecom regulator after their contracts end for reallocation via the auction method.
Mr Kittisak said there must be clear agreement between CAT, True Move and DPC on the migration plan before they submit their business plans to the NBTC's telecom committee by this Friday as required.
Regulations stipulate the two operators and CAT may continue to serve their existing customers by renting their networks from CAT, but revenue after expenses derived by a supervisory entity will be passed directly to the Finance Ministry.
Mr Kittisak believes revenue will decline during the transition period, as operators will be prohibited from adding new customers.
They will also be required to encourage users to shift to other network operators.
"Service during the transition period looks set to operate at a loss. Who will pay for that?" said Mr Kittisak.
About the author
- Writer: Komsan Tortermvasana
Position: Senior Business Reporter