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[July 03, 2014]
NBTC ordered to revamp Frequency Allocation Act [Bangkok Post, Thailand :: ]
(Bangkok Post (Thailand) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) July 03--The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has ordered the national telecom regulator to overhaul the Frequency Allocation Act and draw up a roadmap to optimise spectrum use.
The order by the military junta is aimed at helping state telecom operators TOT Plc and CAT Telecom regain their concession revenue to help their ailing finances and eliminate legal loopholes.
Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), said the NCPO wants the regulator to meet the two state telecoms to discuss creating a roadmap for their spectrum use and frequency allocation plans.
Discussion will include this year's planned auctions of the 1800- and 900-megahertz spectra, he said after meeting with the NCPO yesterday.
TOT and CAT oppose NBTC plans to sell the two spectra to provide fourth-generation (4G) wireless broadband services, saying the two should be reserved for their own use under the Frequency Allocation Act. They say the Act stipulates that concession owners, in this case TOT and CAT, can keep spectra for their own use for another two years after expiry of their concession.
But the NBTC insists that Section 45 of the Act stipulates spectra can be allocated only by auction.
Mr Takorn said the NCPO wanted all parties to seek a joint resolution before the 4G spectrum auction could proceed.
The NBTC earlier planned to sell two licences for the 1800-MHz spectrum in August and another two for the 900-MHz spectrum in November.
But the NCPO last month put the brakes on the 4G spectrum auctions to examine the transparency and functioning of the regulator.
Mr Takorn said the NCPO had clearly signalled it wanted to see TOT and CAT stand on their own feet without concession revenue.
"To achieve the goal, some sections of the Frequency Allocation Act must be revamped," he said.
Mr Takorn highlighted Section 84, which stipulates TOT cannot book any concession revenue after Dec 20, 2013.
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