DSI to explain 3G probe Wednesday

The Department of Special Investigation will hold a press conference on Wednesday to reveal its initial findings of an investigation into possible irregularities in the Oct 16 auction of 3G spectrum.

Last Saturday, the DSI and a probe committee led by the House secretary-general Suvichak Nakwatcharachai both announced their probes had concluded that the auction did not involve price collusion. 

Tarit Pengdith, the DSI's director-general, said Tuesday that even though the initial findings found no irregularities in the Oct 16 auction, his agency would continue to investigate certain areas of the auction process. The press conference will be held Wednesday at 1.30pm Thailand time, at DSI headquarters.

Mr Suvichak, the secretary-general of the House who led the probe, said none of the bidders manipulated the auction. All had complied completely with the auction terms set by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), he said

The auction sold licences for 3G mobile phone services on the 2.1 gigahertz spectrum. The big three of mobile phone networks were the only bidders, and each won a licence - Advanced Info Service (AIS), Total Access Communication (Dtac) and True Move.

The probe's mandate was restricted to examining the behaviour of the bidders, he said.

Earlier this month, the Office of the Ombudsman asked the Administrative Court to suspend the granting of 3G licences, claiming the auction lacked free and fair competition as required under the constitution. The court has yet to make its ruling.

Under the terms of the auction, the NBTC must grant the licences by Jan 15 - within 90 days of approving the bid outcome.


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