Thailand to set 3G price ceiling by Dec

Dylan Bushell-Embling
12 Nov 2012
00:00

Thai regulator NBTC has revealed plans to introduce an interim price ceiling on 3G services by mid-December.

Bangkok Postquotes NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasit as saying the tariff rules will apply to the nation's three private operators – which each secured 2.1-GHz spectrum in a recent spectrum auction – as well as state-owned TOT and CAT.

Private players AIS, DTAC and True Move will have to submit their expected real operating costs for providing 3G services by late November, and draft pricing benchmarks and cap will be determined from these figures.

The costs to be taken under consideration include license fees, network rollout expenses and interconnection fees.

Takorn said the NBTC aims to cut prices stipulated by current regulations – which mandate a maximum voice rate of .99 baht per minute - by 15% to 20%.

The NBTC in October announced a plan to require the three operators to cut prices for 3G services before they are allocated licenses.

Pundits have speculated that the move is an attempt to placate public anger over the regulator's handling of the 3G auction.

Due to a decision to place a cap of 15-MHz per operator on the auction of 45-MHz of 2.1-GHz spectrum, the auction ended with a mere 2.8% premium over the combined 13.5 billion baht ($440.7 million) floor price.

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