Dubious aid for two giants draws flak
AIS and True Move dominate the country's telecom landscape, but that didn't stop them from requesting (and receiving) special dispensation from the state over licence fees
Public queries have bombarded the military-led government and the telecom regulator after their decision to take the inexplicably generous route of invoking Section 44 to ease the financial burdens of Advanced Info Service Plc (AIS) and True Move, the winners of the 4G licence auctions three years ago.
The move is stirring widespread criticism, mainly because the two telecom giants' financial health does not appear to warrant such debt relief.
Unlike the plan to assist financially beleaguered digital TV operators, questions are mushrooming about the real intention of the government's move to provide assistance measures for the two winners of the 900MHz spectrum through a new payment package. Is this an action designed to help the telecom giants in exchange for some form of mutual favour? Can the government accept the revenue losses incurred by extended licence payments?