Cellcos unite over 4G

24 Dec 2014

The CEOs of Thai cellcos Advanced Info Service (AIS), Digital Total Access Communication (DTAC) and True Corp made a joint announcement on 4G issues yesterday, urging the regulator and government to include sufficient bandwidth in the impending auctions of new spectrum licences, in order to meet demand, The Nation reports. The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) had planned to auction the expired 12.5MHz bandwidth each of True Move and Digital Phone Co (DPC) in the 1800MHz band, plus AIS’s expiring 17.5MHz bandwidth in the 900MHz band, while questions remain over the potential inclusion of an unused 25MHz of DTAC’s 1800MHz bandwidth plus 10MHz of the same operator’s 850MHz spectrum. Sigve Brekke, DTAC’s interim CEO, said that at least 10MHz-15MHz bandwidth in the 850MHz and 900MHz ranges and at least 15MHz bandwidth in the 1800MHz range should be available for each operator, stating: ‘We need more spectra to provide service access for all customers and Thai people, because the digital economy is about access for all. That’s why all three operators are together here.’ True CEO Suphachai Chearavanont said that having at least 20MHz bandwidth per operator would be a suitable amount for 4G technology, which consumed more spectrum space. The government should also consider the ‘beauty contest’ process as an alternative means of allocating new spectrum licences, which would benefit consumers, he said.