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Court issues injunction protecting Dtac subscribers

DTAC subscribers on the 850MHz frequency have until Dec 15 to switch to another spectrum, after the Central Administrative Court on Friday issued an injunction preventing the telecom regulator from cutting off the service at midnight on Saturday. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)

The Central Administrative Court on Friday issued an injunction against the telecom regulator, allowing customers of Total Access Communication (Dtac) to continue using the 850MHz mobile phone spectrum for another three months.

The court order benefits about 95,000 Dtac subscribers, most of them using the 2G service and others for roaming. 

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) had planned cut off Dtac's access to the spectrum at midnight on Saturday.

Dtac has been locked in a dispute with the telecom regulators over its access to the spectrum when its concession expires. The NBTC board on Thursday decided by a split vote not the allow the company any leeway when the 28-year contract ends on Sept 15.

The regulating agency cited Dtac's decision not to enter an auction for use of the 900MHz spectrum to replace the 850MHz frequency, which would have allowed the company to smoothly migrate the users.

DTAC decided to seek court help, citing the need for subscribers whose devices use the spectrum to be protected from having the signal cut off.

The court said in the injunction statement released after the ruling that Dtac had the right to protect the affected customers until Dec 15.

This means that Dtac subscribers using the 850MHz bandwidth have three months to switch to other spectrums operated by the company, or move to another provider.


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