DTAC reaches regulatory milestone in Thailand

The Administrative Court of Thailand has ordered the state-owned fixed line operator TOT to negotiate an interconnection agreement with DTAC. This is the fourth consecutive ruling in favour of DTAC on this matter, and it cannot be appealed.
“The court order is clear and is an important step towards supporting an efficient regulatory regime in Thailand. Both investors and customers in the Thai telecom market will benefit from this positive regulatory trend,” said CEO Sigve Brekke, who on yesterday, Tuesday 13 May, was speaking to a packed dinner event in Bangkok with over 120 Scandinavian business men brought together by the four Nordic Chambers of Commerce in Thailand.
Last week, on Tuesday 6 May, the Central Administrative Court decided to dismiss the state-owned operator’s application to refrain from negotiating an interconnection agreement with DTAC. The National Telecommunications Commission of Thailand (NTC) has ordered TOT to initiate talks with DTAC, and as of February 2008 day fines against TOT have been accumulating.
On Thursday the board of TOT decided to comply with the court’s decision and start negotiations with DTAC.
Telenor calls in a press release the order “another important step towards a fully liberalised telecoms industry”.
DTAC hopes the ruling will speed up negotiations with the remaining companies that have not yet entered into interconnection agreements.

The Court ruling last week states that, as DTAC and TOT Plc have maintained the network interconnection, TOT Plc and dtac should enter into interconnection agreements in accordance with the order of the NTC, which should include interconnection method and the settlement of all expenses with a view to securing the uninterrupted provision of the services to the public.
DTAC hopes that it will reach an interconnect agreement with TOT Plc and other non-participating operators relatively quickly, due to the Court’s emphasis on the provision of uninterrupted services to the people.
“TOT Plc should negotiate an interconnection agreement with DTAC for the benefit of the public,” said CEO Sigve Brekke.
“Since a well functioning interconnection regime is a prerequisite for free and fair competition in the telecom sector, we see this Court’s order as a key stepping stone towards the fully liberalised industry which will significantly benefit the Thai consumers in the long-run.”  

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