Court rejects two petitions challenging 3G auction result

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BANGKOK, Oct 19 – Petitions by two civic groups which asked the Central Administrative Court to revoke Tuesday’s third-generation (3G) mobile telephone auction results have been rejected.

The first petition was filed by the Association of Consumers Rights Protection Institutes seeking an injunction against the bids for the 2.1 gigahertz spectrum allocations. The licences were awarded by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) to Advanced Wireless Network, a subsidiary of Advanced Info Service (AIS), DTAC Network under Total Access Communication (DTAC) and Real Future, a corporate unit of True Corporation.

The court ruled that the association was not the direct party damaged by the auction.

The court also rejected a similar petition by a group of four people, led by Adm Chai Suwanparb. They claimed that the NBTC will ignore its responsibility to protect consumers since it directly is collecting Bt4.5 billion for a 3G licence from the winning companies.

The court ruled that the Bt4.5 billion fee (nearly US$146 million) for the 3G licence is paid to the state, and not to NBTC.

NBTC acted on the country’s behalf in conducting the auction, the court said.

Both petitions were submitted to the court on Thursday