29 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2012
Date Written: 2011
This paper is a part of the Telecom Regulatory Environment (TRE) assessment conducted by LIRNEasia and Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI). A perception survey of informed stakeholders of Thailand’s telecom sector, representing service providers, academics, security analysts, journalists and civil society, was conducted during February-March 2011. The effectiveness of the regulatory and policy environment in Thailand’s fixed line, mobile and broadband market were evaluated by the respondents, along seven different regulatory dimensions: market entry, access to scarce resources, interconnection, tariff regulation, regulation of anti-competitive practices, universal service obligation (USO) and quality of service (QoS). The Lickert scale of 1 to 5 was adopted in this evaluation where 1 stands for ‘high ineffective’ while 5 represents ‘highly effective’.
According to the 2010/11 TRE assessment, Thailand’s performance obtained an overall score for all dimension at 2.7, which is below the average score of 3.0. Even the regulatory dimension which received highest score, the USO, still gets a below average score. The two regulatory dimensions that dragged down Thailand’s performance are interconnection and market entry, especially market entry in mobile market which received the lowest score of all, 2.3. The low score reflected respondents’ dissatisfaction with the regulatory agency’s failure to intervene in the interconnection dispute between a large and a smaller cellular phone operator in the market that eventually led to the exit of the latter. For market entry, the main concern arises from Article 45 of the new Telecom & Broadcasting Act of 2010 whose wording can be interpreted as prohibiting the leasing of telecom network. Confusion regarding the different types of licenses was another concern about market entry.
Keywords: telecom regulatory environment, telecom, sector performance review, Thailand
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