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Thailand’s 3G Wireless Auction Delayed Again – A Corrupt Third World Country Indeed


AAAARRRRRRGGGHHHHHH! Can you hear that? That’s me screaming in frustration all the way from Bangkok, Thailand. Why? Because Thailand’s 3G wireless auction scheduled for next Tuesday is likely to be delayed. Again.

Why? Because  Thailand’s Central Administrative Court says they’re not sure they can approve the 3G auction. Again.

Why? Because a whole slew of ‘concerned citizens and concerned companies’ have filed challenges attempting to stop the 3G wireless auction. Again.

Now, if you’re not up on the attempt to get 3G wireless in Thailand, all you need to know is it’s been ‘in process’  since 2009. Every time, it’s stopped due to the interference of ‘concerned companies’ or legal challenges to a 3G auction. Three years later, it’s still happening. So, as most of the rest of the world already has 3G and much of it now has 4G, Thailand doesn’t. My guess is it never will.

So, why are we seeing a slew of attempts to stop next Tuesday’s auction at this late date? It’s simple. Three companies have just  been given the right to bid – AIS, DTAC and True – the only three companies anyone with any sense in Thailand uses for mobile or for internet, as they are the only ones that are reliable.

That means, for anyone with any common sense, having these three companies bid on 3G wireless slots is a smart decision.

To anyone without any common sense (read, half the country with any power) or anyone who’s vested interest isn’t served by these three companies ( most of the other half of the country with any power), they are going to file a legal challenge. It’s stupidity, it’s greed and it’s a true Third World mentality. “Let’s screw over every Thai who would like 3G sometime in this century, even if it damages Thailand’s ability to compete with the rest of the world, because we’re not benefiting or it benefits someone we don’t like”.

As far as the current specific legal challenges go, I can’t even be bothered explaining what they are — most have no merit and most are mired in greed, stupidity and, yes, racism (DTAC is a company that is partially owned by a Norwegian company — xenophobic Thais don’t like that, so they don’t want DTAC involved).

If you do have any interest in reading about the specific challenges, the Bangkok Post has done a very nice job of summing them up. But, let’s face it, there will probably be more in the coming days, so they really don’t matter. As any expat in Thailand knows “TIT”. This is Thailand.

In any developed country, of course, constant legal challenges to a 3G auction would be classified as ‘legal harassment’ and would be stopped. In Thailand, often still a Third World country in mentality if not in name, where half the people with any kind of power are corrupt and most of the other half seem to be terminally stupid, these legal challenges are taken seriously.

So, as Tuesday the day for Thailand’s 3G auction approaches, it’s looking highly likely these legal challenges will stop the auction……… again.

While all of this wretched mess continues, of course, Thais are being denied access to faster and better mobile and internet access and Thai businesses are falling further and further behind their competitors in other countries.

Meanwhile, Burma, a true Third World country, is already working with foreign investors and foreign companies and say they will have 3G by next year.