NBTC to hold 5G spectrum tender in February 2020

24 Oct 2019

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Communication (NBTC) is planning to hold an auction for 5G-suitable spectrum in the 700MHz, 1800MHz, 2600MHz and 26GHz bands in February 2020. The Bangkok Post cited Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the NBTC, as saying that the NBTC’s working team responsible for formulating the auction plan will finalise the draft conditions by December, with plans to award the spectrum to the winning bidders in March 2020.

The regulator is aiming to tender 2×15MHz in the 700MHz band (three concessions for 2×5MHz each), 2×35MHz in the 1800MHz band (seven, 2×5MHz), 2×190MHz in the 2600MHz band (19, 2×10MHz) and 2700MHz in 26GHz (27, 100MHz).

The NBTC has hired advisers to study the auction conditions, including suitable prices for the 2600MHz and 26GHz ranges, with the watchdog planning to put a cap on the number of licences in the two bands (maximum of ten concessions per winner in 2600MHz band and twelve in 26GHz band). The 2600MHz range is currently held by state-owned broadcaster MCOT, which is expected to return 190MHz of unused spectrum bandwidth to the NBTC in exchange for compensation, while the 26GHz band is unused. Regarding the remaining bandwidth in the 700MHz and 1800MHz bands, Mr Takorn said the reserve prices for the two spectrum bands will be based on the winning prices in previous auctions.