Thailand’s regulator has announced that it is considering a remedial package for the voice-only users on TrueMove and DPC (an AIS subsidiary) 2G that will be left without a functioning network after the one-year extension to the concession ends in September 2014.
NBTC telecoms chair Colonel Setthapong Malisuwan argued that 60% of Thais still do not use smart phones and cannot use 3G networks, thus they should be compensated for the cost of upgrading to a smartphone to use 2.1 GHz. They should not have to pay for 3G services they do not use. Details of the compensation package would be announced later.
The entire MNP system in the country can handle 300,000 numbers a day. TrueMove H 3G can only take on 4,500 numbers a day, meaning that many may be left stranded even after the one year extension expires.
For the extra year, Setthapong said that public hearing has concluded that the companies would have to return all profit after fees, costs and network rental had been accounted for. This should be more than the current revenue share (at 30%), he claimed.
Setthapong said that $2 million (63 million baht) has been earmarked for the 1800-MHz auction scheduled for October 2014. He attributed the huge 13-fold increase in costs over last year’s 2.1 GHz auction down to consultancy fees.