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TOT will be punished

Regulator's dispute committee will rule on refusal to talk with DTAC on charge

The national telecom regulator will ask its dispute-settlement committee to rule on how TOT will be punished following the state agency's refusal to talk with Total Access Communication (DTAC) on an interconnection-charge deal.

Suranan Wongvithayakamjorn, secretary-general of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), said yesterday that the committee would rule on punitive measures to which TOT would be subject. It will then propose measures for the NTC to consider.

The committee will decide if the NTC should do as requested by DTAC. The company has asked the regulator to determine the interim network interconnection rates to be used between TOT and DTAC, he added.

Last month the NTC ordered TOT, which holds its licences, to enter into negotiations with the second-largest cellular operator to forge an interconnection agreement.

TOT recently sent a letter to inform the NTC about its refusal to obey the order. Suranan said that True Move recently informed the NTC that it wanted to settle the dispute with TOT via the NTC's dispute-settlement committee.

The NTC's interconnection regulations require all telecom operators, which signed bilateral interconnection deals, to share voice and data revenue proportionately between the networks involved in the calls.

DTAC and True Move stopped paying the access charge to TOT last November and have turned

to share the lower interconnec-

tion fees with TOT instead,

following their adoption of the interconnection regulations last November.

The access charge is the cost three of CAT Telecom's private cellular concessionaires, DTAC, True Move and Digital Phone Co, have paid to TOT for connecting different networks through TOT facilities.

TOT's access-charge revenue is around Bt14 billion per year. According to TOT, the combined overdue access fees of DTAC and True Move are over Bt7.5 billion at present.

Advanced Info Service, DTAC and True Move forged bilateral interconnection deals with one another late last year.

DTAC's share price yester-

day closed at Bt43.25, up from Bt42.75.

Usanee Mongkolporn

The Nation



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