Five Thai operators, including the three main incumbents, have expressed an interest taking part in the coming 3G auctions.
AIS, DTAC and True Corp have each bought bid documents for the auction, which is to be held on September 28-29, Bangkock Postsaid. The other applicants are MVNOs Samart and Loxley.
Each of the three main operators bought two bid documents each – AIS for itself and its subsidiary AWN, DTAC for itself and unit DTAC Internet Service, and True for its two units True Move and SK Wireless – although only one operating company from each will be able to take part.
The government has set a reserve price for a 15-year license of 12.8 billion baht ($403.1 million). Operators will have until August 30 to submit bid proposals.
But the auction could face further delays because the terms of all three members of the NTC will expire next month, and the regulator is due to be replaced by the new National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission. This could leave the process open to legal challenge.
AIS has committed 50 billion baht to developing 3G services over the next three years.
MVNO Loxley said it was in talks with an Asian company to form a possible JV to bid for a license. The start-up investment of the JV would be at least 30 billion baht.