Thailand’s 3G process on hold yet again

I had no plans to blog today, having already set a couple of posts up, until this dreaded update came through this morning.

From MCOT news:

The planned bidding for Thailand’s third generation (3G) wireless service system next Monday came to a halt Thursday as the Administrative Court issued an injunction halting the auction.

The court ruled on Thursday that the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) had no authority to organise the bidding, saying it had to wait until the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) is established as prescribed under the 2007 Constitution.

The court reasoned the NBTC Bill had already passed readings in both the House of Representatives and the Upper House of Parliament. The bill had also been revised by the Joint Parliamentary Committee and is being brought for consideration by the House again.

This is yet another set back for mobile technology in Thailand but one which many will say is no surprise… but I am surprised as there seemed a new sense of urgency and promise with the latest attempts to kick start the 3G process in Thailand.

I’m not going to say too much more about this but a guest post will be up shortly to shed some background as to why the process is so problematic.

Thailand has a tough time competing for foreign investment and business with regional rivals like Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore at the best of times.

Already lower levels of English fluency, comparative lack of government support for foreign investment (see this excellent John Berns post for the full extent) and political problems (albeit often overstated) are just some of the factors that potential investors cause to think twice about Bangkok/Thailand. Now continuing issues with 3G are another differentiator which put Thailand down a level.