Dtac confirms plans to participate in August auction

telecomasia.net

Thailand's Dtac has finally committed to take part in the upcoming replacement 850-MHz spectrum auction.

The operator had, along with its rivals AIS and True Move, declined to participate in the initial 1800-MHz and 850-MHz auction despite facing a loss of spectrum under its expiring 2G license.

The absence of participants prompted the auction's cancellation amid suspicions by telecoms regulator NBTC that the operators may have colluded to make the decision to abstain.

Dtac had also initially baulked at the terms of the replacement auction, but has now sent a signed letter to regulator NBTC confirming its intention to participate, the Bangkok Post reported.

Under the terms of the planed auction, which is planned for August 19, the 1800-MHz spectrum will be divided into nine 10 MHz slots, while there will be only one 850-MHz slot up for bid.

Although the high reserve price was a primary factor behind Thai operators' decision to stay out of the prior auction, the NBTC plans to keep the reserve price for 1800-MHz spectrum at 12.48 billion baht, ($376.5 million) based on the winning price for the prior auctions in 2015.

The reserve price for the 850-MHz slot will be 38 billion baht based on the winning price for 900-MHz spectrum in 2015.

Dtac currently has 13,000 base stations operating under its expiring 850-MHz concession, and is seeking to secure the spectrum necessary to keep them in operation.

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