Thai MVNOs call for looser regulations

15 Aug 2018

Thailand's MVNOs are calling on telecoms regulator NBTC to loosen regulations and reduce their operating costs to foster competition in the mobile market.

MVNOs are asking the regulator to reduce numbering fees from the current two baht ($0.06) per month, and to shorten the holding period for inactive numbers before they are resold on the market, the Bangkok Postreported.

At present mobile service providers are required to retain expired SIMs for 90 days so mobile users can continue to receive incoming calls, and must hold the numbers for a further 90 days before reselling them.

MVNOs have proposed that a lower numbering fee be implemented for the first 2 million of an operator's subscribers to reduce costs for smaller players.

In addition, MVNOs have complained about the cost burden of having to comply with Thailand's biometric SIM verification system, the lack of promotional support from the regulator and the fierce competition in the market.

But the report cites an NBTC official as stating that the SIM registration system cannot be eased as it helps improve the standards of registration and prevent fraud.

The official added that a previous attempt to expedite the resale of some inactive numbers - by introducing tourist SIMs that must be held for only 30 days before the numbers are resold - was thwarted by the Consumer Protection Association.

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