NBTC to hold 900-MHz 4G auction in Dec

11 Sep 2015

Thai regulator NBTC has decided to hold the auction for two 900-MHz licenses on December 15, more than a month after the 1800-MHz auction.

The regulator has been debating whether to hold the two auctions on the same date on November 11, or to hold the 900-MHz auction within a day of the 1800-MHz auction, to help speed up the license allocation process and the eventual rollout of 4G.

But the NBTC's Telecom Committee has now decided that holding the auctions together could result in a legal backlash, the Bangkok Postreported.

The regulator will now stick to its initial plan of holding the 900-MHz auction on December 15, although if the core NBTC leadership still wants to hold the auction in November it is still entitled to appeal to the national cabinet.

The reserve price for a 900-MHz license has meanwhile been lifted to 12.9 billion baht ($357.9 million) from the initial reserve price of 11.26 billion baht, which pundits had criticized as being too low.

Auction terms will require winning bidders to roll out their 4G networks to cover half of the population within four years of receiving a license, rising to 80% within eight years.

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