MCOT asks for USD1.6bn compensation for 2.6GHz airwaves

24 Sep 2019

Thailand’s state-owned broadcaster MCOT is requesting THB50 billion (USD1.6 billion) as compensation for the handover of 144MHz of its unused 2600MHz spectrum to telecoms regulator the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC). MCOT president Kematat Paladesh told the Bangkok Post that the proposal had been sent to the watchdog in July, though NBTC commissioner Prawit Leesathapornwongsa was quoted as saying that an agreement on these terms ‘seems impossible as the figure is too high’.

TeleGeography notes that the NBTC is planning to auction 5G spectrum in the 2600MHz, 26GHz and 28GHz bands later this year, once it recovers some of the unused frequencies in the aforementioned bands. The 2600MHz band is currently occupied by MCOT, which has a total of 180MHz of spectrum bandwidth. Meanwhile, the 26GHz and 28GHz bands are partly occupied by satellite business provider Thaicom, though Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the NBTC, has previously suggested that the NBTC can reallocate 4GHz in the two bands for 5G use.