The big three operators may be allowed to execute an over-the-air SMS campaign to promote their new third-generation (3G) mobile services, says the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).
Advanced Info Service (AIS), Total Access Communication (DTAC) and True Move in May plan to start sending SMS messages to their existing 2G customers.
The alerts are aimed at convincing customers to move to new 3G services on the international-standard 2.1-gigahertz frequency.
Customers can simply reply to the messages, then they will be activated instantly with 3G services. Most operators plan to introduce their services in June.
Commissioner Prawit Leesatapornwongsa said 3G migration is expected to actively start before June when operators are willing to shift from the existing revenue-sharing under a concession system to a licensing fee.
Operators are required to pay a licence fee of 2% of total annual revenue plus a 3.75% fee for universal obligation service, compared with the revenue-sharing payment of 25-30% a year.
But Mr Prawit said 3G services would be activated only if customers replied to the SMS sent by operators.
He said AIS and DTAC had urged the NBTC to amend some clauses of existing regulations to ensure that the migration via the SMS system would not violate telecom laws.
Mr Prawit said the three 3G licensees as well as TOT Plc and CAT Telecom will meet the NBTC in January to discuss migration plans and capacity expansion for number portability.
The issue of the concessions of True Move and Digital Phone Co, expiring in September, will also be raised.
Mobile number portability (MNP) lets customers retain their numbers when changing from one network operator to another. They must stay with the new operator for at least three months before making another change.
Wichian Mektrakarn, chief executive of AIS, said the capacity of MNP must expand to 100 million numbers.
The MNP clearing system of the five private and state telecom firms _ AIS, DTAC, True Move, TOT and CAT Telecom _ can only handle a combined 4,000 requests per day due to technical limits.
In addition, customers have to wait three days for the process to complete.
About the author
- Writer: Komsan Tortermvasana
Position: Senior Business Reporter