Thai newspaper The Nation reports that a senate committee has asked the country’s regulator, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), to increase the starting bid price for the 3G licences due to be auctioned later in the year. Three next generation concessions will be on offer in September, and the committee has asked for the starting bid price to be THB30 billion (USD913 million) rather than the THB12.8 billion specified by the watchdog. NTC commissioner Natee Sukonrat said the regulator is unlikely to change the reserve again; the price has already gone up once from the THB10 billion given in the original draft. All three licences will be valid for 15 years and will be for 15MHz of spectrum. The licensees will have to reach at least 50% population coverage within two years, although if they achieve 80% within that time they will be allowed to defer the final instalment payment by a year.