50 MVNO licenses issued in Thailand

MVNO AEC Telecom brings the total MVNO license issued in Thailand to 50

Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has now issued 50 MVNO licenses since the introduction of MVNO seven years ago.

The NBTC has awarded, AEC Telecom (Thailand) Co., Ltd, with a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) license, dated October 12, 2017.

AEC Telecom’s MVNO license marks the 50th company to obtain a MVNO license (Operator with no network), since MVNO was introduced in Thailand in 2010. The license is valid until October 11, 2022.

AEC Telecom’s primary aim is to develop and deliver Triple Play service offerings over Fiber to the Home (FTTH) and Over-the-Top (OTT) systems.

AEC Telecom’s rollout strategy is underpinned by its alliance with CAT Telecom as the provider of the underlying fiber and mobile network infrastructure.

Its MVNO approach is to provide a multiscreen strategy that goes beyond simply providing SIMs and mobile data packages to subscribers. The OTT component of AEC’s MVNO strategy consists of integrating communications, content distribution, payments, and commerce in to one app or web portal.

This strategy will be interesting to follow, given that the MVNO license it has obtained, is only for Medium MVNO, not a Full MVNO.

Time to change the MVNO license scheme in Thailand

NBTC is one of the few – if not the only one (haven’t seen others) in the world, who issue licenses before an MVNO has obtained a MoU, Head of Terms, Letter of Intent – or similar with a host operator.

Consequently the MVNO aspirants, has to deliver information that does not make sense, as part of the MVNO license application at the NBTC (i.e. Network architecture diagram, connection diagram with any given host operator, equipment list, etc.) Once a NBTC officer has approved the application, it is forwarded to the Secretary General to sign and award the license. Should there be any mistakes, it is then the responsibility of the NBTC officer.

Problem is, the license is awarded based on the information applied i.e. a setup based on guesswork BEFORE an actual agreement and implementation in the real world.

Given that we have reached a mark of 50 MVNO licenses, and so few actual launches, it is time to consider following the developed world, and stop issuing MVNO licenses, the way it is done at the NBTC today.

This, and much more “MVNO” will be part of my topic on Thursday, November 16, at the Engineering 4.0 event at the “An era of change in Telecommunication business” session – “MVNO -why it has failed in Thailand, and why it is needed more than ever for Thailand 4.0

Author: Allan Rasmussen
Managing director at Yozzo. Allan is a MVNA/MVNE/MVNO specialist with hands-on experience from more than 60 projects in both competitive and greenfield markets. His expertise includes business case development, execution, launch and growth strategies. Advisor and consultant to mobile network operators, MVNA, MVNE, MVNO, National Regulatory Authorities, Government Agencies, Broadcast Companies, TMT Industry Associations, Innovation and Investment Banks.
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