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Thai court throws out TOT’s access charge requests

Thai court throws out TOT’s access charge requests

Thailand’s Central Administrative Court has thrown out state-owned operator TOT’s requests to obtain unpaid access fees from the country’s three main operators.

The court ruled that the rates TOT was demanding for access charges went against the regulator NBTC’s interconnection notification and was therefore invalid, since all interconnection rates must be calculated in line with this.

TOT filed the cases in 2011, arguing that since it connected the other operators’ subscribers to its network, it was owed access charges. Including VAT and interest, TOT was demanding THB246 billion ($7.77 billion) from dtac and THB5.45 billion from AIS. True Move did not reveal how much TOT had demanded.

Access charges have not been levied in Thailand since 2006, when the NBTC implemented interconnection fees in their place. None of the private operators have paid TOT for access since this shift and instead signed interconnection agreements, but TOT refused to acknowledge this for years. The state-run operator has 30 days to appeal the decision with the Supreme Administrative Court.

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