CAT wants Council of State to review 3G contract [Bangkok Post, Thailand]
(Bangkok Post (Thailand) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Jan. 07--The third-generation (3G) network contract between True Corporation and its concession owner CAT Telecom faces another legal challenge, as the state telecom enterprise will ask the Office of the Council of State to scrutinise the deal again this week.
The Council of State will investigate if the 6-billion-baht deal complies with the Public-Private Joint Venture Act of 1992.
"If the body finds the deal does not comply with the Act, which requires scrutiny of any public-private venture worth more than 1 billion baht, then the contract could be scrapped immediately," said Kittisak Sriprasert, CAT's chief executive.
He said approval from the cabinet would be required later.
However, True could continue its 3G service on the 850-megahertz frequency under True Move H brand as usual, said Mr Kittisak.
True has 3 million 3G customers.
Mr Kittisak said the request for a legal opinion from the Council of State came after the CAT board agreed at last month's meeting it wanted to run its business carefully.
True signed the 3G contract with CAT in January 2011, giving True the rights to the network previously used by the Hong Kong telecom giant Hutchison (Hutch) operating in Thailand.
Gp Capt Anudith Nakornthap, the information and communication technology (ICT) minister, said the ministry is awaiting a conclusion from the Department of Special Investigation after he passed a report by an ICT Ministry investigative panel to the DSI late last year.
The report alleged at least five irregularities in the contracts. One point of contention was CAT bypassing the cabinet and the National Economic and Social Development Board in terminating CDMA mobile service in 25 central provinces via Hutch and its affiliates in order to enter into the new deal with True.
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