Dtac CEO calls for balance in 3G auction

Don Sambandaraksa
telecomasia.net
Dtac CEO Jon Eddy Abdullah is an optimist who sees his job to push forward ideas on how the industry can be better at every inflexion point. This means not just the 2.1-GHz 3G auction later this year, but the 1800-MHz 2G spectrum coming out of concession in 2013.
 
The Dtac CEO expressed satisfaction with the moves the regulator, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, has made toward 3G licensing considering it was only established in the middle of 2011.
 
From clarity in December, to public discussions in January and February, to writing down documents and getting them confirmed, the progress has been pretty flawless so far. Things are looking good for an auction in September or October.
 
However, one problem with the 5 MHz slot based auction is that there is a danger with 45 MHz up for grabs, for three licencees to end up with 20, 20 and 5 MHz each, which is not a healthy situation, he said.
 
“We felt that 15-15-15 created balance so that nobody has more resources than another. That’s why I wanted it that way."
 
The principle behind it sounds just -- so that a smaller player might enter the market with a 5-MHz block and potentially build up a network in key areas by roaming nationwide. As a principle it is a good idea, but in practice, with scale being the key to survival, an operator with 5 MHz is simply not viable.
 
So does that mean that Dtac will definitely go for 20 MHz?
 

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