NT board poised to get six more members

NT board poised to get six more members

The government aims to add six people to the existing five board members of National Telecom (NT) by May so as to effectively streamline the company's operations through five core businesses.

Specific skills, such as engineering and digital services, are needed from these new members.

Meanwhile, NT management is expected to choose 5G partners by March to capitalise on their 2600-meghertz range to provide 5G services for the mass market.

Digital Economy and Society (DES) Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta said additional board members are needed for NT to support policy decisions and strategic moves of this large organisation.

He said the Finance Ministry, which is NT's major shareholder, will be the key agency choosing new members of the board while the DES Ministry will support the process.

"There may be an additional six directors, which means the board will have 11 directors in total. The new appointments could be made by May," said Mr Buddhipongse.

Incumbent board members consist of Gp Capt Somsak Khaosuwan, who also serves as acting chief executive of the company; ML Chayotid Kridakon, who is also the board chairman; Col Sanphachai Huvanandana; Amnuay Preemonwong; and Chamroen Phothiyod.

NT, a merged unit of state telecom enterprises TOT and CAT Telecom, is pursuing key businesses -- hard infrastructure, international service, fixed-broadband service, mobile service and digital service.

Mr Buddhipongse reiterated NT's mobile capacity and competitiveness need to be levelled up, chiefly through partnership deals.

The DES Ministry wants the 5G partnership deals between NT and two major mobile operators to be concluded by March, so as to help NT to run 5G service on the 2600MHz range, he said.

NT is now in talks with Advanced Info Service (AIS) and True Move H Universal Communication (TUC) for agreements of infrastructure sharing on 700MHz as well as roaming agreements on the 2600MHz band held by the two mobile operators. The talks began in the third quarter of last year.

A source at a major mobile operator said TUC approached CAT management for the talks first and then AIS stepped in.

The conditions of the talks have yet to be revealed.

In principle, NT is expected to rent the telecom infrastructure on the 700MHz range from partners for 15 years, including the use of telecom towers and radio transmitting devices, the source said.

Under the deal, partners may also be able to capitalise on NT telecom infra through rental.

The deal would make it possible for NT to save operation and investment costs while expanding 700MHz networks.

Additionally, it would have a roaming agreement to make use of the 2600MHz range occupied by AIS and TUC, the source added.

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