NBTC to hold 1800MHz auction in February 2019; 5G auction to follow

24 Oct 2018

Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) is planning to sell the remaining 35MHz in the 1800MHz band in February 2019, The Bangkok Post writes. The regulator is also aiming to extend the payment period for the spectrum to eight-ten years, from the current three-year regimen, in order to attract potential bidders. The auction will be for seven slots of 2×5MHz each with a minimum reserve price of THB12.48 billion (USD379 million), and will comprise DTAC’s spectrum, the authorisation for which expired in September 2017.

Following the conclusion of the 1800MHz auction, the NBTC will hold a tender for 5G airwaves. Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the NBTC, said that the authority will tender frequencies in the 700MHz and 2600MHz bands with the stipulation that winners are given slots in higher spectrum bands as well, such as the 3500MHz-3800MHz and 23GHz-28GHz ranges (partly occupied by Thaicom, but set to be recalled by the NBTC). The official also said that ‘the 5G frequencies should have a reasonable starting price to avoid creating untenable financial burdens for operators’. The 700MHz spectrum band is currently used for digital TV broadcasting, but it will be vacated for telecoms use in 2020.