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Thailand Court drops 3G bombshell

Injunction order says licence auctioneer NTC itself in transition; Planned auction on Monday hinges on NTC’s appeal today against verdict

The Central Administrative Court has hampered hopes for the long-overdue 3G (third generation) telecom development in Thailand in the near future with a bombshell injunction on the licence auction scheduled to kick off on Monday.

In a 16-page verdict, the court reasoned that if the auction was allowed to proceed as scheduled by the National Telecom Commission (NTC), it would lead to a number of obstacles because the NTC itself is currently in a transition period, awaiting the creation of a new regulatory body.

The NTC will today appeal against the court’s decision, and hope for a quick, favourable verdict, without which Monday’s bidding would need to be called off.

NTC commissioner Natee Sukonrat said the telecom body will appeal today. If the court accepts the appeal, the NTC will go ahead with holding the auction on Monday as planned. If the court rejects the appeal, the NTC will stop all auction activities. This could mean a considerably lengthy delay as the establishment of the National Broadcasting and Telecom Commission hinges on a bill awaiting parliamentary approval.

The Nation


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