NBTC puts spectrum auction on hold

15 Feb 2018

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has decided to put its planned auction for spectrum in the 1800MHz and 900MHz bands on hold, pending the Council of State’s position on whether it has authority to call for bids as an acting regulator. The six-year term of the existing commissioners ended on 7 October 2017, but the new NBTC law allows them to continue in the same capacity until they are replaced. The process of selecting new commissioners began last month and is expected to be finalised in April.

The watchdog had initially planned to open the bidding for one licence in the 900MHz band and three 1800MHz concessions in May. NBTC secretary general Takorn Tantasith said in January that there was an option to suspend the 900MHz spectrum auction altogether over a possible interference in signals between the blocks to be auctioned and the 900MHz band that the NRTC planned to use for high-speed train services. Regarding the 1800MHz auction, Takorn said that the 45MHz of available spectrum in the band will be divided into nine blocks of 5MHz, at a price of THB12.485 billion (USD390 million) each. The original starting price for the three 15MHz blocks of 1800MHz spectrum was THB37.457 billion.