Sunday, August 10, 2008

Consumers say switching phone companies may be too long, costly


Consumers believe that switching telephone operators takes too much time and the service fee is too high, according to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

The comments emerged yesterday at the final hearing held by the NTC on number portability before it issues regulations for the scheme.

At the hearing, consumers said they disagreed with the proposal in the draft regulation that states that switching mobile operators would take between three and five days.

They said the time required for a mobile user to transfer to another system and retain his or her old phone number was too long.

Consumers felt the fee to switch systems was too high at 300 baht, preferring that it should truly reflect cost without adding any charge.

Regulators will spend 15 days to edit the suggestions and offer a proposal to the NTC board for review.

The reviewed draft regulation will be displayed on the NTC's website to allow people to voice their opinions again before it becomes an official regulation, said NTC secretary-general Suranant Wongwittayakamchorn.

He said that the NTC would first implement number portability for mobile service and later for fixed lines because there are more mobile users.

A survey by Chulalongkorn University showed that 65.2% of mobile phone users interviewed said that the switching fee should be 200-300 baht and a transfer should take no more than one day.

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