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Chinese companies ‘may bid’ for Thailand 3G
16 April 2012
Thai telecommunications regulator says Chinese operators are interested in bidding for 3G licences
Chinese firms are interested in bidding for 3G telecommunications licences in Thailand, reports the Bangkok Post, citing Setthapong Malisuwan, vice-chairman of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission.
He said western companies are staying away from Thailand’s telecom sector due to concerns about regulations on foreign shareholder control, although NBTC is open to all foreign bidders that adhere to local regulations.
NBTC is likely to decide on the terms for a 2100 megahertz licence auction by the third quarter of 2012, said the report.
The regulator also intends to revise regulations controlling foreign dominance which were issued by the former National Telecommunications Commission. Setthapong said the new draft of regulations would not involve national security, unlike existing rules, and NBTC will not have to consult national security agencies if a licence holder is found to breach laws.
Moreover, the term “controlling power” in the regulations will be replaced with the term “dominance”, which will be determined based on the shareholding structure of licence holders, said the report. It would consider if a firm has the power to appoint or remove directors, and if it controls a majority of votes at shareholder meetings.
Existing rules describe controlling power as influence on and direct or indirect control of management, company policy and executive appointments. Setthapong said there is a foreign dominance in cases where foreign parties hold at least half the controlling power in a licence or concession holder. GTB
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