16 May 2019
Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has amended the terms and conditions for the forthcoming 700MHz auction, scheduled for 19 June, saying that the modifications were due to restrictions set by the Section 44 order, the Bangkok Post writes. The NBTC will put on sale three 15-year licences, containing 10MHz of paired spectrum each (previously 2×15MHz), for a reserve price of THB17.58 billion (USD556 million), which was reduced from the THB25 billion-THB27 billion reserve price set in the previous draft. The concessions will take effect from 1 October 2020, with successful bidders given ten years to clear the licence fee, starting from October 2020. Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the NBTC, said: ‘The change is because [the NBTC] have to strictly comply with Section 44, invoked by the government as a part of an assistance package for digital TV businesses … Section 44 covered the range of only 30MHz of bandwidth for upload and download, not all 45MHz.’
Mr Takorn said the NBTC is aiming to auction a series of other spectrum ranges, with plans to hold a multiband tender comprising 190MHz of bandwidth in the 2600MHz range and 3,000MHz of bandwidth in the 26GHz and 28GHz bands in Q4 2019. The remaining 15MHz of spectrum in the 700MHz band will be sold via a separate auction, set to take place by June 2020. Meanwhile, 2×35MHz of spectrum in the 1800MHz will be auctioned in April-June 2020 and will comprise seven concessions of 2×5MHz each.