ITU advises NBTC to split 1800MHz/900MHz spectrum into 5MHz blocks

28 Mar 2014

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which is advising Thailand’s National Broadcasting & Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) on its upcoming 1800MHz/900MHz 4G mobile licence auctions, has proposed that the regulator divide the 1800MHz and 900MHz spectra into blocks of 5MHz bandwidth for allocation. A source in the ITU working committee cited by Thai newspaper The Nation indicated that the proposal would be passed to the NBTC’s auction subcommittee early next month before being considered by its telecom committee. The ITU has proposed that only 10MHz bandwidth of each of the two 12.5MHz blocks held by True Move (part of True Corp) and Digital Phone Co (DPC, part of AIS) in the 1800MHz band be auctioned in August, while each bidder would be allowed to win a maximum of two 5MHz blocks, or a total of 10MHz. In the case of the 900MHz blocks held by AIS, the ITU proposed combining AIS’s existing 17.5MHz bandwidth with the NBTC’s unused 2.5MHz bandwidth in the same band – giving a total 20MHz for auction in November. The committee should also divide this spectrum into blocks of 5MHz, the ITU said, but did not specify the maximum individual bidding cap.