TOT seeks directive on new interconnection fees

22 Sep 2006

Thailand's TOT says it needs a directive from the Finance Ministry before it can apply interconnection rates with existing operators under its concession contracts, to avoid possible lawsuits.

Chamras Tantreesukon, deputy president of TOT, said that if the Finance Ministry gave TOT a signal to go ahead with the interconnection rates, then it was ready to apply the new rates with all operators.

However, it said the rates would be applied only to new telecom operators, and not to existing operators due to existing concession contracts.

Existing operators under TOT contracts disagreed, and made it clear that once the new interconnection rates were implemented, they would stop paying revenue shares under their concessions.

Chamras said that as TOT was the concession holder, it had to protect its own interests and should not do anything that would incur damage to the organization in the future.

He said the Finance Ministry, the largest shareholder in both TOT and CAT Telecom, was causing management problems because it had failed to comment on how to handle existing concession contracts.

He also said that as each existing operator had signed a concession contract with TOT on different terms and at different times, relinquishing all contracts at the same time would be unfair to both TOT and the operators.

He suggested that each operator should sit down to discuss with TOT any possible changes to the terms of its contract.

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