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Regulator keeps close tabs on Line Mobile – Bangkok Post

Regulator keeps close tabs on Line Mobile – Bangkok Post

Line Mobile, a business under the operations of DTAC TriNet, is under close scrutiny by the national telecom regulator.

According to Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), officials will finalise a report over the next few days regarding whether Line Mobile is a promotional package under DTAC TriNet or not.

The move came after Line Thailand sent a letter to the NBTC yesterday informing the agency that the company was a distinct entity from Line Mobile and not the provider of a mobile service under the name Line Mobile.

According to the letter, Line Mobile is operated by DTAC TriNet, a subsidiary of Total Access Communication (DTAC). DTAC TriNet bought the rights to use the name Line Mobile from Line Thailand.

Line Mobile, which is operated by DTAC TriNet, has nothing to do with the service offered by Line Mobile in Japan.

The only similarity is the name Line Mobile, the letter said.

Having the same name may create some confusion among consumers, but the regulator has yet to come up with any measures to deal with this, Mr Takorn said.

Two weeks ago, the national telecom regulator signalled a red light for Line Thailand saying the company could not launch a low-cost SIM card package in the country unless it has a mobile licence approved.

The NBTC also sent a letter to Line’s Plus Corporation, a subsidiary of Line Thailand and DTAC TriNet to clarify details of its service.

Line recently launched a beta version of its mobile service to a small trial group without disclosing information about the business operations.

The service, running on DTAC’s TriNet 3G and 4G networks, would grant subscribers free use of its instant messaging, calls and video chat service by dispensing with data charges, and the service is planned to be offered in a variety of packages from small volume to very large and unlimited data and voice, catering to all customer segments.

According to Line Mobile, the trial-run service would allow the company to gather feedback from users for improvements to be made before launching the full service.

However, questions then arose over whether that might qualify as operating a mobile phone service without a proper licence.

The Line Mobile service was viewed as a virtual network operator (MVNO) and the company needs to apply for a licence according to the 2001 Telecom Business Act before operating its business.

Both Line Thailand and DTAC declined to clarify the matter, but a DTAC source said the service would benefit both Line and DTAC.

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