Col Settapong Malisuwan, vice-chairman of the
The amendments, providing new protection for mobile users, have been redesigned to strictly govern the signal quality of mobile voice services in the first stage.
The regulations require mobile operators to provide a successful connection rate of at least 85% in all service areas, instead of the nationwide average service areas currently stipulated.
Col Settapong said the new requirements are in response to last year's deluge of consumer complaints over the poor signal quality of voice service and the speed of mobile data service which has dropped to 64-128 kilobits per second due to aggressive promotional tariff campaigns.
Mobile data consumption soared 300% last year thanks to full take-up of the country's third-generation (3G) wireless broadband market.
He said the NBTC's telecom committee last year established a working panel to amend regulations, which need to be approved by the NBTC board before going for public hearing. Endorsement of the regulations is expected in June, said Col Settapong.
He said the regulations will also include the mean opinion score (MOS), a numerical indication of expressing voice and video quality, in order to maximise consumer satisfaction.
The MOS is expressed as a single number in the range of the lowest to the highest perceived quality.
Col Settapong said even though the three major mobile operators ?
NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasit said the regulator is also considering amending the regulatory requirements for minimum download speed of data service under the fair use policy for 3G services.
Under existing regulatory conditions, download speeds for 3G wervices on the 2100-megahertz spectrum must be at least 345 kbps, while 153 kbps is the minimum for uploading.
All operators have adopted the so-called fair use policy for all unlimited packages in which 3G speed is possible only for a fixed amount of data transfer, usually 1-5 gigabytes a month. After the quotas are used up, 2G or Edge speeds will kick in.
However, a large number of mobile users complained that they did not receive the required minimum speed of 345 kbps as stipulated by the NBTC.
Mr Takorn said the NBTC's consumer panel received a pile of complaints over the operators' 3G unfair promotional packages which offer average download speeds of only 64 Kbps, at rates lower than 2G offerings.
"We will raise this issue at the next telecom committee's board meeting, with an agreement will be concluded before the 4G licence auction takes place in September," he said.
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