Thailand's NBTC sets 3G price caps

Dylan Bushell-Embling
29 May 2013

Thai regulator NBTC has officially introduced its price caps for operators' prepaid and postpaid 3G services, at a reduction of at least 15% from 2G rates.

NBTC has set a new maximum 3G voice rate of 0.82 baht ($0.03) a minute, Bangkok Postreported.

SMS and MMS caps are 1.33 baht and 3.32 baht per message respectively, while the new maximum rate for data services is 0.33 baht per megabyte.

The regulator is threatening penalties ranging from warnings to license revocation for operators which fail to comply with the new caps. Thailand's 3G operators have all either already reduced their 3G rates, or are planning to introduce new plans within weeks.

NBTC will also reportedly require operators to allow prepaid subscribers to transfer their credit if they decide to switch to new 3G networks operated by the same company, or to refund credit values if they switch to a new operator's network.

NBTC first pledged to set the 3G price caps late last year, while it was under fire over its handling of the October 3G auction.

Due to a decision to set a spectrum limit of 15MHz per applicant – a third of the airwaves being auctioned - AIS, True and Dtac all submitted winning bids at or close to reserve prices. As a result, the auction netted a mere 2.8% premium to the floor price.

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