Thai regulator NBTC looks set to oppose state-owned telco CAT's attempt to take control of 25 MHz of 1800-MHz 2G spectrum due to be vacated in September 2013.
NBTC deputy chairman Setthapong Malisuwan has declared that the spectrum, currently used for TrueMove 2G and an AIS subsidiary under their concession arrangements with CAT, must be returned to the NBTC for re-allocation after this time.
CAT Telecom and the ICT Minister have argued that the spectrum should be returned to the operator as the concession holder, so it can monetise the network assets.
But Setthapong has dared CAT to sue the NBTC in the administrative court if they disagreed with his interpretation of the law.
CAT has in turn responded by slamming the brakes on the NBTC’s infrastructure sharing plans.
CAT CEO Kittisak Sriprasert said that the NBTC’s draft was biased in favour of the private sector operators, as they would have cheap access to CAT’s network that should instead be monetised for CAT in a post-concession era.