Telecom mag predicts more 3G woe for Thailand in 2011

Total Telecom, a mobile and telecoms industry B2B magazine, has listed a number of predictions for the global telecommunications industry in 2011.

The update includes thoughts on the¬†repercussion of India’s 3G auction, but what¬†catches the eye from a Southeast Asian standpoint is a mention of Thailand and its ongoing 3G saga – can we at last be hopeful?

From the article:

Thailand will fail to sell off 3G spectrum. The formation of a new regulator to manage the process will take much longer than expected.

Thai worker works on a cell phone tower in Bangkok. Pic: AP.

Going on past history, this prediction is pretty much a banker given that thus far the entire system has seemed stacked against progress. On one hand you have the issue of CAT Telecom being state-owned, while the legal framework itself has numerous issues as raised by this recent guest post on the blog. Then there is the politics in the middle, and make no mistake this issue has become a political one without doubt.

Generally speaking, political change and reformation can take a long time at best, but as seasoned Thailand watchers will be aware, the timescale in Thai politics is on quite another level. Yet, in Thailand, even after a long wait there is no guarantee of a verdict either way.

Back to the prediction, isn’t it a little disappointing that Total Telecom isn’t more insightful on the potential impact of further delays?

Will 3G emerge in Thailand in spite of further delays? Or is a leapfrog to 3.5/4G, or even the option of WiMAX more likely?

Most people will agree that the predicted scenario is more than possible but the real interest is in what the knock-on effects of more issues would be – tough to call though they are.