Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) will take its second attempt at auctioning 5 MHz of 900-MHz spectrum during an auction now scheduled for October 20.
The regulator has given prospective bidders until October 8 to submit bid documents for the auction, and plans to name the qualified bidders on October 17, the Bangkok Postreported.
The October 8 is significant because it is seven days before the deadline for the NBTC to appeal the injunction issued by Thailand's Central Administrative Court granting private operator Dtac a reprieve from having to switch off its 850-MHz network while it is still in use.
The NBTC had been demanding that Dtac switch off the network as soon as its concession agreement covering the spectrum expired on September 15.
But after an appeal by Dtac, the court issued an injunction allowing Dtac to use the spectrum until December 15. This will prevent the roughly 90,000 remaining users from having their services disconnected, and allow its other customers to continue to roam on the network while visiting its coverage area.
Due to the NBTC's timing, there has been speculation that the deadline has been set in order to force Dtac to participate in the auction. Dtac and all other operators sat out of the first attempt to auction the spectrum due to objections over the high reserve price.
The regulator likewise only managed to sell two of the nine blocks of 1800-MHz spectrum it had attempted to auction in August.