NBTC slashes number switching fee

The cost of switching mobile networks and keeping the same phone number - known as mobile number portability - will be cut by 70 baht to 29 baht per transaction from July 1 in a move by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission to boost competition in the mobile market.

The NBTC's telecom committee approved cutting the fee from 99 to 29 baht on Tuesday.

Mobile number portability (MNP) enables mobile phone users to retain phone numbers when they change from one mobile network operator to another.

NBTC's vice secretary-general Korkij Danchaivichit said operators must periodically report the records of their MNP users to the commission.

He is also urging operators to quickly expand their MNP capacity from the current combined 40,000 per day to 300,000. That will serve growing demand for 3G service and those customers using the AIS Digital Phone or some True Move 2G services, which are due to expire this September.

The committee reported there were 80,000 MNP transactions in April. True Move registered the highest number of switches, followed by AIS and DTAC respectively.

The NBTC also allowed 3G operators to migrate their 2G subscribers to new 3G networks by replying to an SMS.

Mr Korkij believes there will be a marked jump in migration over the next two months as the three operators launch 3G services

Related search: NBTC, MNP, mobile number portability

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Writer: Komsan Tortermvasana
Position: Senior Business Reporter