Thai regulator gets clearance to issue 3G licenses

25 Aug 2006


's National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) announced that it can now allocate 3G spectrum to mobile-phone operators to provide 3G services without having to wait for the creation of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

Thailand's Council of State said that allocating the radio spectrum specified by the International Telecommunication Union as a standard for 3G is the NTC's area of responsibility.

Thailand's mobile phone industry is counting on 3G technology, which can carry voice, data and multimedia content at very high speeds on mobile devices, to become a lucrative new source of revenue.

NTC chairman Gen Choochart Promprasit said the regulator had sought the legal interpretation in light of political infighting over the formation of the NBC, now five years behind schedule.

Licensing of 3G services is supposed to require joint consideration by both the NTC and the NBC as the frequencies also have broadcasting applications.

However, the Council of State, the government's legal advisory body, has taken the view that the NTC has some leeway with regard to certain services.

The NTC chief said the NTC was now drafting a 3G licensing framework and once it was finished it would invite mobile operators to apply for licenses.

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