3G Bid Plans on Schedule, says NBTC




The Bangkok Post reported on 17 October 2011 that the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) has insisted the 3G licence auction will be held on schedule by mid-2012 as initially planned with no further delay.

NBTC chairman Air Marshal Thares Punsri said that "Putting 3G in place will strengthen the country's communication capabilities, increase investments and in turn economic growth, and accommodate more public services. … We are moving toward the Asean Economic Community which calls for us to comply with universal standards and adopt new technologies including digital television. This is a major challenge for us."

Another view was expressed by Wichian Mektrakarn, the CEO of Thailand's largest mobile phone operator, AIS, who replaced Yingluck Shinawatra, Thaksin's sister and Thailand's current prime minister. Wichian was earlier reported in Bloomberg Businessweek as saying "I believe there is still some kind of conspiracy, or some kind of movement to try to stop or delay 3G. There are still a lot of obstacles. Anything can happen in Thailand."

Thailand’s three major mobile phone operators – AIS, DTAC and TRUE – are currently offering 3G services through existing networks prior to the 3G licence auction.

The Tribune reports that Cambodia has had a 3G network since 2006 and Laos has announced it will launch 4G service for the public within two months, as reported here.