900MHz re-auction set for 27 May; AIS permitted to use 2G spectrum until June

13 Apr 2016

Thailand’s military-led government has invoked Section 44 of the country’s interim constitution to impose a schedule and terms for re-auctioning the 900MHz technology-neutral spectrum licence which Jas Mobile recently won but failed to pay for. As reported by the Bangkok Post, the date for the new auction is now set for 27 May 2016, under the order which was published in the Royal Gazette and took effect on Tuesday. Jas is barred from the new auction but True Corp – the winner of the other 900MHz block in December’s auction – can join, since the order requires the contest to be open to all except for violators of the National Broadcasting & Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) rules. The starting price is set at THB75.65 billion (USD2.16 billion), i.e. the winning bid placed by Jas in December, while each bidder in the new auction must put up a guarantee of THB3.78 billion.

Furthermore, the order stated that Advanced Info Service (AIS), which currently uses the unpaid-for 900MHz spectrum block to serve 2G users, will be permitted to continue doing so until 30 June 2016 or until the NBTC grants the licence to the winner, whichever comes first (in the event of AIS not winning the licence). AIS had previously been scheduled to lose usage of the band on 14 April.