By John Formichella & Naytiwut Jamallsawat
There is often confusion surrounding telecommunication licensing and cloud services. The primary reason is there is, in fact, a cloud service license requirement from the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC). However, the licensing requirement is obligatory if a cloud service provider (CSP) provides a telecommunications service. The definition of “telecommunication service” is referenced in our article on Thailand’s Telecommunications Business Act.
Transmission and connectivity are the primary causes affecting licensing requirements from the NBTC. Regarding CSPs, the NBTC will consider a cloud service as a telecommunication service if the CSP provides connectivity to its cloud.
The title of the license itself makes the connectivity requirement essential. The license translation is “cloud services (with the provision or procurement of internet connectivity or other telecommunication services)”. A CSP service without connectivity is a content-based service, not a telecommunication service.
As of the writing of this article, there are only four CSPs licensed by the NBTC to provide cloud services. A cloud license (as mentioned above) will require a comprehensive application process, annual reporting requirements, licensing fees, and USO fees. However, a CSP with a license may generate additional revenue from the connectivity services. Without a license, CSPs will put the onus of connectivity on the end-user. For example, companies with licenses to provide internet services will connect a customer and a CSP.
The above is for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice.
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