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Further 3G delays likely in Thailand as NTC member under investigation

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The Bureau of Royal Household has returned for further review the names of the four new members of the seven-member National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) board to the Cabinet Secretariat.

The review is to double-check the qualifications of the nominees before seeking royal endorsement. Col Natee Sukolrat, one of the nominees, is currently under investigation by the National Anti-Corruption Commission.

The move by the Royal Household is sure to further delay the planned auction of third-generation (3G) licences in the 2.1GHz spectrum expected in the second quarter of this year.

A source said the Royal Household Bureau refused to forward the names of the four new members earlier appointed by the Senate to the King for endorsement after a former executive of CAT Telecom, Thamnoon Julamaneechoti, submitted a petition to the Administrative Court and the Royal Household Bureau against the nominees because of the NACC investigation.

Mr Thamnoon first petitioned the Administrative Court to suspend the Senate's NTC appointments. But the court rejected that petition, leading him to the Royal Household.

Thailand faces new delay for 3G auction, unlikely for 2010

Advanced Info Service chief executive Wichien Mektrakarn said he believed the 3G licence auction would be delayed for at least two years because it is unclear how long it will take for the new NTC board to resume work. In the meantime, the current board is unlikely to move forward with an auction.

via Further 3G delays likely.

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