Thai regulator sides with True in porting dispute
Thailand’s regulator has ruled in True’s favour in the ongoing paperless number porting saga, with Dtac and AIS accusing True of porting out its customers without proper paperwork. The telecom’s board chairman said that Thailand’s digital signature law supersedes the NBTC’s own notification regarding number portability.
NBTC telecoms sub-board chair colonel Setthapong Malisuwan said the telecoms board had voted in favour of True on 18 February. AIS and Dtac had complained that True was not following the NBTC’s number portability rules in its campaign to port out users. Setthapong said that Thailand’s e-commerce laws allowed for digital signatures and thus a digital signature could be used instead of paper signatures in the number porting process.
The NBTC also ordered all operators to review their number porting workflow in light of this ruling.
TrueMove has been using its sister company 7-11 convenience stores to aggressively poach customers from Dtac and AIS following its success in both the recent 1800- and 900-MHz auctions. Signs have been put up warning AIS users that their SIMs will soon become inoperative because AIS no longer has 900-MHz spectrum. In-store signs said that all that was needed was an ID card and the subscriber’s phone number. It was this paperless port that led to AIS and Dtac’s complaint.
True countered AIS and Dtac’s complaint to the regulator by filing a criminal complaint with the police against its two rivals for illegally blocking number portability.
Ovum predicts that there will be major opportunities and challenges for the TMT sector