NBTC to push on with 1800-MHz auction

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net
Thai regulator NBTC plans to press on with an 1800-MHz auction next year, despite legal threats from state-owned operator CAT Telecom.
 
The NBTC will hold the auction on schedule next September, chairman Colonel Settapong Malisuwan told the Bangkok Post.
 
The 1800-MHz spectrum is due to be returned to the government for reallocation upon the expiry of the current 2G concession arrangements between True Move and AIS subsidiary DPC and their concession holder CAT Telecom.
 
But CAT is adamant it is entitled to hold on to at least half of the spectrum for LTE services and has been trying to stand in the way of the return of the airwaves
 
The company recently threatened to sue the NBTC if it proceeds with the 1800-MHz auction, or if an NBTC edict on frequency reallocation takes effect.
 
A draft version of this information memorandum is expected to be completed this year. Settapong said CAT will have 90 days to appeal the draft before it takes effect.
 
But he added that the spectrum auction will go ahead despite the legal threats. It will likely also include 17.5 MHz of 900-MHz spectrum used by AIS under a concession arrangement with TOT - the other state-owned telco - which is due to expire in late 2015.

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