Thailand’s number two telco has issued a position paper strongly objecting to the plan for an overall spectrum cap for the upcoming auction - one that would only affect Dtac given its legacy 2G concession that will not expire until 2018.
Dtac objects to the latest draft 1800- and 900-MHz auction instruction manual that sets an overall spectrum cap of 60 MHz, calling for concessionary spectrum not to be included as it is not hoarding spectrum; that the costs for concessionary spectrum is much higher than licenced spectrum (30% revenue share vs 5.25% licensing and USO fees); and that operating costs and flexibility as concessions are build-transfer-operate with all equipment going to the state.
Most importantly, given that Dtac’s concessions on 850- and 1800-MHz will expire in 2018, it would not make sense to include them in the spectrum cap calculations for the 4G auction.
The Telenor-owned telco said that many countries were moving to band-specific spectrum caps to allow telcos to take advantage of new high-frequency bands or scrapping spectrum caps altogether and going for competition regulation such is the case in the United States.
The statement cited Japan with all three telcos having more than 60 MHz, in fact 160 MHz in the case of NTT DoCoMo.
The statement called for band-specific spectrum caps instead of an overall spectrum cap and crucially asked the regulator to provide a spectrum map so that telcos would know what spectrum will be offered and when.
The lack of a frequency master plan was successfully argued by state-owned CAT Telecom, which got an injunction that led to the 2010 3G auction being scrapped.