Classifieds 50% off, use promo code FBkpkPromo The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort
The Phuket News Thailand News
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World | Business | Q&A | Weird World XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Tourist SIM-tracking plan axed

BANGKOK: Plans for special SIM cards for tourists have finally been scrapped by the national telecom regulator after facing strong opposition from the government, which says the idea would do more harm than good.

technology, tourism,

Bangkok Post

Wednesday 22 February 2017, 08:53AM

A foreign tourist looks at his mobile phone while walking along Silom Road in Bangkok. Photo: Tanaphon Ongarttrakoon
A foreign tourist looks at his mobile phone while walking along Silom Road in Bangkok. Photo: Tanaphon Ongarttrakoon

The plan also drew heavy criticism at the first public hearing from participants who said it could lead to a potential threat to travellers’ privacy.

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) initially approved in principle a requirement that foreign visitors to Thailand use special SIM cards in their phones that could be tracked by the authorities in the interest of national security.

The NBTC planned to force all mobile operators to embed location-based service software into their SIM cards to enable them to track the call history of the user in the event he or she became a criminal suspect.

Operators would be required to sell the special SIM cards to foreign travellers wanting to use local mobile services.

The regulator expected to roll out the special SIM cards in early 2017.

The initiative was originated at a regional-level meeting in Phuket in July last year, gathering telecom regulators from the 10 Asean countries. Among the 10, only Malaysia uses special traceable SIM cards for foreign travellers.

“We have stopped all related processes [including public hearings] for the tourist SIM card plan,” said NBTC Secretary-General Takorn Tantasith.

The NBTC earlier prepared to invite embassy representatives and ambassadors from China, the US, Britain and some European countries – all of which provide high tourist traffic to Thailand – to take part in a public hearing on the tourist SIMs.

Mr Takorn said the government, especially the Tourism and Sports Ministry, is concerned that the tourist SIM would cause severe damage to the local tourism industry – a critical component of the country’s economic growth, contributing 17% of the GDP.

The ministry reported that 19.06 million foreign tourists visited Thailand in the first half of 2016, an increase of 12% year-on-year.

An executive at a major mobile company who asked not to be named said the termination of the tourist SIM plan was for the good of the country.

Though the cost of requiring traceable SIM cards would create a small burden to mobile operators, the source said it might make foreign travellers unhappy or uncomfortable with the way local authorities handle personal information.

Read original story here.



The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:
    Forget your password?

Foot | 22 February 2017 - 23:09:59

Finally, the government makes a decision that won't hurt tourism.
I've also seen that some beach chairs + lounge chairs and umbrellas have returned to Patong and Kamala beaches.  The number 1 thing that can be done to return tourism to it's former glory, is to allow them, along with shops, vendors, beach night clubs, restaurants, and bars.
Now, the government needs to regulate everything and eliminate jet-skis at popular beaches.

The Phuket News

Governmeny Policy | 22 February 2017 - 21:49:08

A better idea would be SIM tracking for bad police and bad government officials as well as all types of mafia they do business with like beach mafia, transport mafia and many but not all bar owners who pay them a monthly protection fee.

Of course no one in the government has the balls to try and put that into legislation.

The Phuket News

Sue Yu2 | 22 February 2017 - 12:27:37

At last - a sensible decision!

The Phuket News

Kurt | 22 February 2017 - 10:03:53

Very good. The interest of thai authorities should be focused on internal ( thai <-> thai) national security, in the North and in the South.
Oh, and don't forget that Dhammakaya sect temple happening.

The Phuket News
Matches 4 result(s)
The Phuket News
The Phuket News
The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments

Phuket drunk rescued after falling in ditch while taking a pee

Probably back driving buses over Patong Hill!...(Read More)

Phuket under pressure as tourism growth exposes flaws in hotel sector

Rorri_2 ... none of your business. When you figure out what neo colonialist means and that can be located within context, get back to me....(Read More)

German Papke reveals details of Phuket murder's because it is murder ie when you kill someone unlawfully and with premeditation. It's more of a definition that is easily un...(Read More)

Phuket power chiefs told to speed up cable tangle clean-up

There is only one real and fast solution,cut them all and make new ones for those who complain! SIMPLE!!There will be only a few! Horst...(Read More)

German Papke reveals details of Phuket murder

Why is the polis always say murder when it comes to foreigner's?Just Killing would be enough!Could be manslaughter,Let the judge decide ! Horst...(Read More)

Phuket’s dangerous driving habits sees underpass traffic-flow barrier installed

No wonder As long there egoistic reckless traffic rules ignoring motorists on the road There will be chaos and traffic jams. ...(Read More)

German Papke reveals details of Phuket murder

Can't imagine how somebody could live a normal live day to day knowing what you'd done weeks, months, years before...(Read More)

Phuket under pressure as tourism growth exposes flaws in hotel sector

Jor12, you wouldn't, by chance, run hotels rooms. By the way, you continually use the term "neo colonialist" incorrectly. ...(Read More)

Phuket’s dangerous driving habits sees underpass traffic-flow barrier installed

Because getting the police out to fine dangerous drivers is too difficult...(Read More)

Aussie lifeguards ramp up Phuket lifesaving skills, awareness

Well done that guy, they should put him in charge of many posts, he realises that getting help from other countries is the way forward!...(Read More)

The Phuket News
Bangkok Hospital Phuket
Weird World
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
Photo Galleries
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2017 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.