17 hours in Thai 4G bid stands at $1.77b

16 Dec 2015

After seventeen hours of bidding through the night, Thailand’s weary telecom executives have begun their 3-hour sleep break at 6 AM. After 54 rounds of bidding, the combined value of the two 10-MHz licences on 900 stood at $1.77 billion (63,724 million baht).

One day earlier, the bidding started with all four bidders present for a photo-call. AIS, Dtac and TrueMove all send in their CEOs into the sealed luxury suites that the NBTC had converted its office into for the bid. AIS and True sent in a full contingent of ten, while Dtac only had eight staff.

New entrant Jasmine, which fought until the very end before losing to AIS for 1800-MHz only sent in three staff and CEO Pete Bodharamik was conspicuous in his absence this time round, leading to speculation Jasmine might have given up on trying to break into the mobile market.

Alternatively, considering the NBTC only has five beds per suite and has plans for a 3-day auction, might have been a good idea.

The auction resumes at 9 AM local time.

Last month’s 1800-MHz auction ended after 33 hours and $2.2 billion for two 15-MHz licences, but without any sleep breaks.

Elsewhere, it appears that TOT management and the Ministry of Finance have chosen to ignore the Ombudsman's letter asking them to reconsider filing for an injunction as neither have made a move with the courts. The NBTC had responded to the Ombudsman’s letter in the media by referring journalists to a letter from the Attorney-General’s office which was of the opinion that 900 was to be re-auctioned by the NBTC and not subject to TOT’s ancient 1990 claim.

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