ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Thai mobile firm ignores government agency
The state telecom enterprise says it will also submit a letter to the acting National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) against DTAC for breaching its concession agreement by misusing the analogue 850-megahertz frequency without the state's approval.
Jon Eddy Abdullah, the chief executive of DTAC, insisted Monday that the company will start providing its planned commercial 3G wireless broadband service Tuesday, saying it has the right to provide commercial 3G service now that it has a usage licence — basically formal permission to begin operating on a frequency — from the NBTC, clearing the way for commercial 3G service.
But CAT president Jirayuth Roongsrithong reiterated that a legal battle with DTAC will inevitably persist if the company determines to move ahead with its planned 3G.
"It's the problem of NBTC to solve this issue," he said.
CAT asked DTAC to wait until the Office of the Attorney General approves the plan, which is subject to review under the Public-Private Joint Venture Act.
DTAC Tuesday will kick off 3G commercial service in Bangkok through the first phase of 400 base stations under the Life network campaign, serving its existing 400,000 data users primarily.
Pakorn Pannachet, the senior vice-president for the product division of DTAC, said existing DTAC customers with 3G 850 MHz-enabled handsets may sign up for 3G service with no additional service charges.
Network speeds for DTAC's 3G service will vary depending on where customers are located. With the 3G HSPA network, download speeds could reach 42 Mbps.
Mr Pakorn said DTAC's 3G service charge would be at the same rate as existing 2G data plans. Approximately 800 base stations will be available in Bangkok by the end of this year, increasing to 2,000 bases covering 20 provinces in 2012.
In fact, Mr Pakorn said the launch of 3G commercial service was simply an upgrade of network data-transmission speeds for its customers under the existing 2G concession agreement.
DTAC currently has 6 million data users and expects an increase to 7.5 million users by year-end. The figure is seen reaching 10 million users next year.
Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below