Jasmine, True win 900MHz licences in USD4.2bn auction

21 Dec 2015

True Corp, Thailand’s third largest cellco by subscribers, and Jas Mobile Broadband, a subsidiary of Jasmine International (the parent of Thai fixed network operator Triple T Broadband [3BB]), have both secured 900MHz spectrum in Thailand’s latest technology-neutral (4G) auction, with bids totalling THB151.95 billion (USD4.2 billion). Thai PBS reports that the auction was effectively completed on Friday 18 December as no bids were submitted at the start of the 199th round (Saturday morning), leaving the highest bids of the 198th round to win. Cellular market newcomer Jas Mobile will pay THB75.654 billion for 2×10MHz of spectrum in the 895MHz-905MHz/940MHz-950MHz band, while quad-play operator True is set to pay THB76.298 billion for its 2×10MHz in the 905MHz-915MHz/950MHz-960MHz band. The winners beat two other participants in the 900MHz contest – Advanced Info Service (AIS) and Digital Total Access Communication (DTAC), respectively Thailand’s first and second ranked cellcos by user volume. True and AIS had shared the spectrum spoils in the previous month’s auction of 4G 1800MHz licences.

Reuters notes that shares in the four bidding telcos fell to a three-year low as the 900MHz auction ended, amid concern at future costs and competition in the sector. Jasmine shares fell 16.3%, while True stock dropped 8.2%. AIS and DTAC shares, meanwhile, fell 10.3% and 14.5%, respectively.