Thailand is indisputably mad about mobile phones. The nation, containing more SIM cards than people, boasts a whopping 120 percent cell phone penetration rate. But a sluggish bureaucracy and political infighting has prevented the nation from acquiring speedy 3G (third generation) network common around the world, including far poorer nations such as Cambodia. Meanwhile, Japan and South Korea have advanced to 4G, the next frontier of high-speed mobile Internet service.
The recent 41.6 billion baht auction of 3G bandwidth to varied telecommunications firms suggests that, finally, modernized mobile Internet signals are coming to Thailand. But will there be further delays? And will Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission be able to quell accusations that it sold off its bandwidth too cheaply?
Please join our panelists for a discussion and Q&A on the current state of Thailand's long-awaited upgrade of mobile Internet services.
Supinya Klangnarong: spokeswoman and media expert with Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission
Somkiat Tangkitvanich: president of the Thailand Development Research Institute
Thapana Panich: telecoms, energy and transportation analyst at TISCO Securities
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