A consumer protection panel of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) is slamming mobile operators for failing to deliver their claimed service promises on third-generation broadband speed.
Saree: ‘File complaints with us’
Under the licence requirement, operators are obliged to deliver 3G services at a minimum download speed of 345 kilobits per second and 153 Kbps for uploads.
The criticism came after the panel received a deluge of consumer complaints about poor service after operators this month launched 3G commercial services.
Saree Ong-somwang, chairwoman of the NBTC's consumer protection panel, said the panel will raise the issue to the NBTC's board.
She said customer complaints about poor 3G speed is heavy even as operators committed to lower their 3G service packages by 15-20% from existing 2G service rates as of last Dec 7 to comply with the NBTC's requirements.
Some complaints pointed out certain 3G promotional packages offered lower speeds of data downloading than 2G.
"We suggest consumers file complaints with us. This could press operators to further reduce their service charges," Ms Saree said.
Duanden Nikomborirak, a panel member, said 3G operators should not rush to expand their customer base if they cannot even deliver minimum speed service as required.
These are not the speeds we were promised, says the consumer protection board at the NBTC.
Wichian Mektrakarn, chief executive of Advanced Info Service, said it is still too early to conclude that speeds of 3G services are far below the regulatory requirements.
Operators are gearing up to expand their 3G networks with the aim of nationwide coverage within two years.
"We just rolled out our network in Bangkok and other major cities after announcing commercial service early this month - four months after we won the licences," Mr Wichian said, acknowledging that many service areas are still in the 3G migrating process.