Telecoms and media—Thailand—Q&A guide

The following TMT practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Telecoms and media—Thailand—Q&A guide
  • 1. Summarise the regulatory framework for the communications sector. Do any foreign ownership restrictions apply to communications services?
  • 2. Describe the authorisation or licensing regime.
  • 3. Do spectrum licences generally specify the permitted use or is permitted use (fully or partly) unrestricted? Is licensed spectrum tradable or assignable?
  • 4. Which communications markets and segments are subject to ex-ante regulation? What remedies may be imposed?
  • 5. Is there a legal basis for requiring structural or functional separation between an operator’s network and service activities? Has structural or functional separation been introduced or is it being contemplated?
  • 6. Outline any universal service obligations. How is provision of these services financed?
  • 7. Describe the number allocation scheme and number portability regime in your jurisdiction.
  • 8. Are customer terms and conditions in the communications sector subject to specific rules?
  • 9. Are there limits on an internet service provider’s freedom to control or prioritise the type or source of data that it delivers? Are there any other specific regulations or guidelines on net neutrality?
  • More...

Telecoms and media—Thailand—Q&A guide

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to telecoms and media in Thailand published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: July 2021).

Authors: Formichella & Sritawat Attorneys at Law—John P. Formichella; Naytiwut Jamallsawat; Onnicha Khongthon

1. Summarise the regulatory framework for the communications sector. Do any foreign ownership restrictions apply to communications services?

Regulatory and institutional structure

Legislation that governs the telecommunications sector includes the Act on the Organisation to Assign Radio Frequency and to Regulate Broadcasting and Telecommunications Services 2010 (the NBTC Act) and the Telecommunications Business Act 2001 (the Telecommunications Business Act). The NBTC Act establishes the National Broadcasting & Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) as an independent broadcasting and telecommunications business regulator. Subject to supervision by the NBTC, a Telecommunications Committee regulates telecoms business in compliance with the Telecommunications Business Act. The Telecommunications Business Act applies to operators of telecommunications services. 'Telecommunications service' is defined as a service that sends, transmits or receives signs, letters, figures, pictures, sounds, codes, or anything else made comprehensible by frequency waves, wireless, lighting, electromagnetic systems or any other systems, or other activities prescribed by law to be telecommunications services.

Thailand currently has three types of telecoms licence:

  1. Type 1 licence, for telecommunications business operators who provide telecommunications services without operating a telecommunications network;

  2. Type 2 licence, for operators who

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