NBTC draws flak for hiring ex-CAT lawyer

Don Sambandaraksa
25 May 2012
Daily News

Thailand’s regulator has drawn criticism as it has emerged that the lawyer responsible for the CAT-TrueMove H 3G deal is now acting as a legal advisor and is investigating the very project he worked on at his former employer.

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission had appointed Chaikasem Nitisiri as legal advisor and it recently emerged that he is on the sub-committee investigating the TrueMove H 3G deal. Chaikasem used to work for CAT Telecom during the time that the TrueMove deal was struck.

Both the ICT Ministry and Counter-Corruption Commission have declared the deal illegal and the latter is instigating legal action against the former CAT CEO and its board at the time of the deal. However, the NBTC’s own investigation has gone nowhere fast.

Two Thai language papers, Banmuang and Naewna, have quoted a source from the ICT Ministry saying that the reason for the NBTC’s delay is that the person charged with investigating whether True broke article 46 of the frequency allocation act is the same person who drafted the TrueMove 3G deal.

Clarity is needed on TrueMove’s current 850-MHz 3G network in the run-up to the 2.1-GHz 3G auction mulled for October this year as it would make a huge difference as to how much spectrum TrueMove would want to bid for.

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