The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) insists there will be a clear legal resolution this week on the contentious third generation (3G) network contracts between True Corporation and CAT Telecom.
Col Settapong Malisuwan, chairman of the NBTC's telecom committee, said the committee will decide whether one of the six contracts involving the network rental service of BFKT (Thailand) violates Section 7 and 67 of the Telecom Business Act.
Section 7 says anyone who intends to run a telecom business must obtain a licence from the NBTC, while Section 67 says operators of a telecom business without a licence will face a penalty.
``We will have no further delay on this issue,'' said Col Settapong, adding that the resolution will be strictly based on the principles of law.
Suthiphol Taweechaikarn, an NBTC commissioner, said the Friday resolution will clearly define whether BFKT violated the law and what further measures will be carried out.
He acknowledged that the telecom committee could face a legal backlash no matter what conclusions come out.
CAT and True, through subsidiaries Real Move and Real Future, signed an agreement in January 2011 giving True a 14-year contract under a wholesale and reseller partnership with the state telecom enterprise.
CAT chief Kittisak Sriprasert said he hoped to see a constructive result from the telecom regulator allowing CAT and True to proceed with their 3G strategies.
``I personally believe it was an error in the licensing process, which can be corrected instead of terminating our 3G operations,'' he said.
Mr Kittisak said CAT plans to appeal any administrative order of the NBTC's telecom committee that negatively affects 3G contracts.
CAT previously asked the Council of State whether a series of contracts were subject to the 1992 Public-Private Joint Venture Act. If so, the contracts must be scrapped and receive cabinet approval later.
The Public-Private Joint Venture Act requires scrutiny of any public-private venture worth more than 1 billion baht.
If the True-CAT contracts are ruled to be subject to the Act, the contracts could be scrapped immediately.
About the author
- Writer: Komsan Tortermvasana
Position: Senior Business Reporter