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Thailand sets 4G bandwidth auction in motion

Posted: 18 Nov 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:4G? Thailand? Settapong Malisuwan?

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) is finally proceeding with its 4G bandwidth allocation after Thailand's military government delayed the auctions by a year in July, according to local publications.

In January next year, NBTC will begin amending auction particulars and set a new date for the 900MHz and 1,800MHz spectrum auction scheduled for July, the Bangkok Post quoted Col Settapong Malisuwan, vice chairman of NBTC.

In an earlier report, NBTC has to deny requests for extension of grace period for both companies, as the law prescribes that spectrum ought to be reassigned upon expiry of the concessions.

While the NBTC agreed with a package bid, allowing a single bid for three different licences, the regulator is apprehensive about possible legal conflicts that could arise from the active concessions, and the resulting criticisms regarding pursuing private mobile services under licensing.

The auction for 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrums has to be done before concessions of the licensees expire, although the winners can only claim the rights upon expiry. Under the Frequency Allocation Act (FAA), NBTC has to deny requests for extension of grace period, as the law prescribes that spectrum ought to be reassigned upon expiry of the concessions.

In an earlier report, NBTC agreed with a package bid rule, which allows a single bid for three different licences. The regulator, however, was apprehensive about possible legal conflicts that could arise from the active concessions, and the resulting criticisms regarding pursuing private mobile services under licensing. (Read entire report here: Thailand's NBTC reallocates 4G licences)

But now NBTC said it will hold the 900MHz and 1800MHz bandwidth auctions in accordance with government's improvements on the Frequency Allocation Act (FAA), no matter how the said improvements may affect the regulator's authority.

True Move and Digital Phone Co. (DPC) both held a 25MHz bandwidth licence on the 1800MHz spectrum, which expired in September 2013. Meanwhile, the 17.5MHz bandwidth on 900MHz is currently utilised by Advanced Info Service, and is expiring in September 2015.

The Information Memorandum (IM) of the 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum allocations was already examined in May and gained the telecom committee's approval a month after. The 4G auctions will immediately take place once the NBTC board passes the approval for the IM, and the Royal Gazette makes the announcement.





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