Dtac’s new chief corporate affairs officer Paradai Theerathada gave evidence at the National Legislative Assembly committee on the new National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Act.
Paradai joined Dtac from TMB (formerly Thai Military Bank) on June 26.
Dtac has called for an early auction clause with the new licence taking effect the day after the old licence expires.
This would solve the problem of uncertainty for operators and users alike who fear that their SIMs may be rendered dead after an auction.
Paradai pointed out that without a provision for an early auction, Thailand has ended up with extension after extension in the name of consumer protection that benefits nobody. An early auction would also mean that the state gets the licence fees earlier too.
Dtac also calls for the law to enable spectrum trading. The current draft only allows for spectrum sharing and spectrum leasing. Paradai said that spectrum trading would allow a new entrant to enter the market without waiting for an auction and would allow for a graceful exit with the spectrum sold off if need be.
Paradai said that spectrum trading would keep incumbents on their toes and lead to better service as a new entrant with a better business plan could enter the market at any time.
He said that rules would need to be put into place to prevent someone bidding for spectrum to sell off with no intention of operating a business.
Finally Dtac reiterated its call for a clear spectrum roadmap going forth.
Thailand still has an acute shortage of spectrum. Of the 1960 MHz of spectrum the ITU has earmarked for data by 2020, Thailand only has 320 MHz available today. Paradai called for clear, five year plans, open to the public so that operators can plan their investments in advance.