ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
3G failure irks business community
The leaders reacted yesterday to a decision by the Central Administrative Court to grant an injunction that is highly likely to cancel a 3G licence auction planned for Monday.
"We should have been benefiting from 3G services some time ago," said Payungsak Chartsutthipol, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI). "The never-ending issue will cause both Thai and foreign investors to question why Thailand has so many problems concerning the law." The fate of the 3G auction hinged on whether the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) had the constitutional authority to move forward, or whether the auction must await the formation of a new regulator, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, which could take several more months.
Thanit Sorat, the president of V-Serve Group, a logistics company that provides e-logistics services, said the delay would affect his company in terms of conducting businesses with foreign countries.
However, he acknowledged that his company's customers tended to focus more on pricing, quality and the Thai baht.
Mr Thanit, who is also an FTI vice-chairman, said that while the development of improved communications such as teleconferencing would be delayed, the 3G issue was less worrisome for investors than the Map Ta Phut environmental regulation impasse, which is gradually being resolved.
Dusit Nontanakorn, chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said the court injunction might affect foreign investors' confidence to a certain extent, as Thailand desperately needs to speed up developing telecommunication infrastructure to raise its competitiveness.
Andre Durieux, the president of the Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce, said the issues involving the two state telecom enterprises, the NTC and the yet-to-be-formed NBTC and unclear constitutional processes were very confusing in the eyes of Australian investors.
He said the 3G delay was similar to the Map Ta Phut case in that it would discourage foreigners to invest in Thailand.
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