The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) is drafting a new regulation to protect second-generation (2G) mobile users on networks whose concessions are due to expire in September.
The draft by a new subcommittee will allow True Move and Digital Phone (DPC), the latter a unit of mobile leader Advanced Info Service, to continue providing 2G services temporarily after their concessions expire.
The goal is to avoid service disruptions during the transition period.
Col Settapong Malisuwan, chairman of the NBTC's telecom committee, said the regulation is expected to be completed next month.
True Move and DPC can no longer acquire any new subscribers to use their existing 2G services on the 1800-megahertz spectrum, he said.
Col Settapong said the draft will require the two operators to educate their customers to shift to other networks instead.
Kaewsan Atiphoti, a member of the NBTC's subcommittee, said the watchdog has the authority to reallocate the spectrum and allow True Move and DPC to operate services during the transition period.
"We can confirm to the public that the existing 2G customers using True Move and DPC networks will not be out of service after September," he said.
True Move and DPC have a combined 18 million users.
The NBTC has scheduled next year's third quarter as the auction period for the 25-MHz bandwidth of the 1800-MHz spectrum after it reclaims 12.5 MHz of bandwidth each from True Move and DPC.
Under the master plan for frequency management, state enterprises must return spectra to the NBTC after their concessions expire.
The regulator will reallocate them for the optimum benefits to the public.
Col Settapong said the subcommittee overseeing the reallocation of the 1800-MHz spectrum held its first meeting yesterday.
The subcommittee will fulfil the information memorandum of the 1800-MHz band, evaluate the spectrum value and set up a reserve price for the spectrum slot.
The subcommittee appointed another three panels to enhance public understanding of the auction process and handle possible effects after the concessions expire.
About the author
- Writer: Komsan Tortermvasana
Position: Senior Business Reporter