Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has confirmed that the auction of two technology-neutral 900MHz mobile spectrum licences will go ahead on 15 December 2015, under a resolution approved by the watchdog’s telecom committee, the Bangkok Post reports. ‘We decided to sell the 900MHz licences on December 15th in line with the original plan, which the cabinet had approved in March,’ a statement from the NBTC said. An earlier proposal from the regulator had mooted a 900MHz auction on or near to the upcoming 1800MHz 4G auction set for 11 November, but an NBTC spokesperson was quoted by the Post as saying: ‘We don’t want to face any possible legal backlash if we hold the 900MHz auction together with the 1800MHz spectrum,’.
The NBTC telecom committee has also approved the reserve price for a 900MHz (10MHz bandwidth) licence at THB12.9 billion (USD356.4 million) or ‘80% of the estimated real spectrum value.’ A previous proposed reserve price of THB11.26 billion had been criticised as too low. Winners of the 900MHz licences will have to roll out 4G networks covering half of the population within four years, increasing to 80% within eight years.