Thai telecoms regulator NBTC has started drafting regulations for the recall of unused and underutilized spectrum and the reallocation of the frequencies via an auction process.
Draft regulatory conditions for the recall of spectrum are expected to be complete in mid-August and the regulator aims to pass the regulation in October, the Bangkok Post reported.
After this a subcommittee convened by the NBTC and comprising representatives from the finance ministry, budget bureau and other agencies will work on the mechanism for providing compensation in exchange for returned spectrum.
According to the report, the NBTC has plans to recall spectrum in the 700-MHz, 1.5-GHz, 2.3-GHz and 2.6-GHz bands over the period between this year and 2020.
The first spectrum to be recalled will be an unused 90-MHz block of 2.6-GHz spectrum currently assigned to state broadcaster MCOT.
The broadcaster has agreed to return the spectrum in exchange for compensation, and global operators including China Mobile has asked the NBTC to auction spectrum in the band to pave the way for 5G deployments by increasing the range of spectrum available for the upcoming standard.
In addition, there is currently 92MHz of valuable 700-MHz spectrum currently being used by digital and analog TV channels, the report adds.