Dtac buys 900-MHz spectrum for $1.16b
Thailand's Dtac has picked up 5 MHz of 900-MHz spectrum as the sole bidder in a spectrum auction held by regulator NBTC on Sunday.
The company acquired the license for 38.06 billion baht ($1.16 billion), a fraction over the reserve price of 37.98 billion baht, the Bangkok Post reported.
Rivals AIS and True had sat out of the auction due to already acquiring 900 MHz licenses, but Dtac had been motivated to take part in order to replace its expired 850-MHz license.
The operator was initially reluctant to take part due in part to the high reserve price.
But Dtac had already been required to seek an emergency court injunction to prevent the revocation of its expired 850-MHz spectrum because a small number of its customers were still solely using the spectrum, and a larger number were using the spectrum while roaming to places within the 850-MHz coverage area.
According to the report, Dtac will now have another 24 months to operate the 850-MHz license while it completes the transition from 850-MHz to 900-MHz.
The operator will be required to pay the license fee in four installments, including one due within three months and three more due over the next three years.
The NBTC is meanwhile planning to hold an auction for the 35 MHz of 1800-MHz spectrum left unsold during an August auction in February.
This will be the third attempt to auction the spectrum, with the first seeing no bidders, and the second seeing just two of the nine blocks put up for auction sold.