NBTC feels the heat on 3G contract [Bangkok Post, Thailand]
(Bangkok Post (Thailand) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Jan. 10--The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) admitted it is in the "hot seat" to rule definitively on the controversial third-generation (3G) network contract between True Corporation and CAT Telecom.
The watchdog's telecom committee fears that if it concludes the contract breaches the law, True's 3G network operation must be immediately suspended because it is running without a licence.
In addition, the NBTC would face possible legal backlash from similar previously ignored deals: TOT's 3G contract and CAT's fibre-optic leasing contract.
Section 79 of the Telecommunications Business Act of 2010 stipulates the NBTC cannot ignore rules that require their authority and must decide all relevant cases using the same rule.
Jesada Sivaraks, secretary to the NBTC's telecom committee chairman, conceded the committee did not raise the True-CAT issue at its meeting yesterday as initially planned.
NBTC's fact-finding panel decided earlier that BFKT (Thailand), a unit of True subsidiary Real Future that signed an agreement with CAT, violated Section 67 of the Telecommunications Business Act by running a business without a licence.
The company constructed a 3G base station and leased the equipment to CAT.
Mr Jesada mentioned the BFKT contract was similar to two past cases: TOT's 3G service operated by its subsidiary ACT Mobile without a licence; and CAT's fibre-optic leasing contract, which was found not to have passed through the state's proper procurement procedures.
(c)2013 the Bangkok Post (Bangkok, Thailand)
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Distributed by MCT Information Services
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