NBTC given thumbs up for 4G auction; public hearing on draft set for today

28 May 2014

Thailand’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has given its formal approval to plans drawn up by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) to auction off 4G mobile frequency spectrum this year, the Bangkok Post reports citing NBTC vice-chairman Col Settapong Malisuwan as saying. It is understood that a public hearing on the draft for the 4G auction will be held today; the consultation process will take 45 days before it is submitted to the NBTC board for approval. Under the plan, the NBTC intends to sell off two licences in August in the 1800MHz band, each of which will carry 12.5MHz of bandwidth. The frequencies in question were previously used by True Move and Digital Phone Co, the latter a unit of Advanced Info Service (AIS). The reserve price for each 12.5MHz licence has been set at THB11.6 billion (USD356 million) and will be valid for 19 years. Further, the regulator intends to auction two slots in the 900MHz band in November 2014, one comprising 10MHz of bandwidth, and one 7.5MHz. The paper notes that the 7.5MHz block of 900MHz spectrum is currently used by AIS, but its concession is due to expire in September 2015. The reserve price for 10MHz of bandwidth will be THB11.26 billion, while the minimum fee for the smaller parcel is THB8.44 billion.