The Bangkok Post reports that an investigative panel of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has resolved to file a criminal complaint against BFKT, a subsidiary of TRUE, and CAT for illegally offering 3G wireless broadband services.
The NBTC panel's investigative report has found violations of Section 67 of the Telecommunications Business Act of 2001 by the offering of 3G services without a proper licence. Prosecution of related criminal charges could see TRUE and CAT executives facing jail terms of up to one year.
This latest move by NBTC comes after a series of extended deadlines following CAT and TRUE repeatedly failing to agree over how to comply with NBTC's order to amend CAT’s 3G network contracts with TRUE to accord with Section 46 of the Frequency Allocation Act of 2010 and the Telecommunications Business Act of 2001.
NBTC apparently regards the prospect of CAT and TRUE executives serving jail time as an incentive for them to resolve their thus far unreconcilable differences. Given the complexity of the issues, however, it seems likely that the matter will still end up in court.
Ultimately, CAT's 3G license could be revoked, which would have massive implications for CAT, TRUE and their customers.