MVNO Contractor takes action against TOT executives

The Bangkok Post reported on 6 December 2011, that 365 Communication, a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), has taken legal action with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) against four members of the Telephone Organization of Thailand Plc's (TOT) 3G broadband committee for discriminating against it in granting 3G service contracts.

The complaint accuses the committee members of breaching the criminal law by granting unfair contracts to partners in the private sector.

TOT is now the only telecom operator with a licence to provide commercial 3G mobile service on the international standard 2100-megahertz frequency supported by all 3G handsets.

While we have no information on the merits or the specifics of the claims here, allegations of corruption in the telecommunications industry generally are not unusual.

Allegations of corruption in India’s telecommunications industry were headline news.  The U.S. imposed the longest sentence (15 years) in a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCAP) case against one Joel Esquenazi in a case involving a telecommunications company in Haiti, as a PriceSanond partner explained in a recent program for the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand on FCPA enforcement trends and compliance measures.

The World Bank even maintains a web-based resource center that provides tools which are intended to reduce corruption in telecommunications laws, regulations and licensing.