Thai mobile operator Dtac is urging the government to grant it a one-year “remedy period” in the event that the mobile spectrum it is using is not auctioned in time for the expiry of its concession.
Dtac is the last of Thailand's remaining operators to be using spectrum under the old build-operate-transfer concession model rather than the new auction model. The operator is using 1800-MHz and 850-MHz spectrum assigned to state-owned CAT Telecom under this model.
The concession is due to expire at the end of September next year, and the government plans to hold an auction for the two spectrum ranges. But the timing of this proposed auction is still up in the air due to procedural issues including the recent expiry of the board of regulator NBTC's current six-year term.
Dtac now plans to ask the NBTC for a year-long remedy period if the spectrum cannot be auctioned before its concession expires, the Bangkok Post reported.
While the company did not elaborate on what such an arrangement would look like, it would likely involve allowing Dtac to continue using the 1800-MHz and 850-MHz spectrum during the course of the year.
As the concession expiry looms, Dtac has also recently entered an agreement with the other major state-owned operator TOT involving partnering to offer 4G services using TOT's 2300-MHz spectrum.
While this agreement will still need government approval, Dtac and TOT may ask NBTC to approve the partnership on a trial basis while the approval process is underway. This would involve launching 2300-MHz services on a trial basis.