NBTC to grant 26m numbers to three 3G-2.1GHz providers
The telecom committee of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) will today approve the granting of 26 million mobile-phone numbers to the three holders of licences for 3G-2.1GHz service, said committee chairman Settapong Malisuwan.
Advanced Wireless Network (AWN) of Advanced Info Service (AIS) reportedly requested 14 million mobile phone numbers, DTAC Network (DTN) of Total Access Communication requested 8 million, and Real Future of True Corp 4 million.
AIS chief executive officer Wichian Mektrakarn said AWN was ready to market the service as soon as it received the phone numbers.
AWN, DTN and Real Future are all are expected to launch full third-generation service on the 2.1-gigahertz spectrum in the second quarter.
AIS has imported equipment for 2,000 2.1-GHz base stations and will install them on its existing 900-megahertz network that it operates under a TOT concession as well as on TOT's mobile-phone networks.
The NBTC will also set up a subcommittee to monitor the three licence holders to make sure they strictly comply with its regulations, including the prohibition of validity periods for their prepaid mobile-phone services and the capping of the average voice-call rate at 99 satang per minute.
The telecom committee will also consider today the options for a new network-interconnection charge, one of which is a rate of 45 satang per minute per call, to be applied to all operators, NBTC commissioner Suthiphon Taveechaiyagarn said.
AIS, DTAC and TrueMove currently impose on one another an interconnection charge of Bt1 per minute. They charge CAT Telecom 50 satang per minute and vice versa for the network interconnection. The interconnection charge is what the networks of the callers pay to the networks of the call receivers on a per-minute basis.
The three telecoms have mutually agreed to the interconnection rate of Bt1 per minute.
Settapong has estimated that the total amount of mobile-phone numbers in Thailand would surge to 200 million in the next five years from the present 80 million.