Thailand’s NBTC Rejects Pleas for Exemption from Biometric Enrollment Requirement

Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) is pressing ahead with its new regulation requiring mobile network operators to enable biometric registration for subscribers, and has rejected calls to exempt smaller operators from the order, reports the Bangkok Post.Thailand's NBTC Rejects Pleas for Exemption from Biometric Enrollment Requirement

The measure was introduced last last year as a means of improving security for customers, with Thailand being home to 103 million mobile users, including 14 million subscribers who use their devices for online banking. Mobile operators must set up registration based on fingerprint authentication; and while subscribers don’t have to enroll in such biometric programs, the NBTC is urging them to do so.

While the costs of setting up these biometric enrollment systems can be offset at least in part via deductions from NBTC fees, some mobile virtual network operators – smaller mobile service providers that don’t user their own network infrastructure – had suggested the costs would hurt their ability to compete against the big MNOs. But their requests for exemption have been denied, with NBTC head Takorn Tantasith explaining that “consumer benefits must come first.”

All mobile service providers in Thailand are required to comply with the biometric registration requirement by March, with fines or even license cancellations being possible penalties for failures to comply.

Source: Bangkok Post