NBTC rejects Dtac's bid for 850-MHz remedy period

Thailand's telecoms regulator NBTC has rejected a request from operator Dtac for more time to use its expiring 850-MHz spectrum, leaving the decision in the hands of the courts.

Dtac had been seeking a remedy period to allow it to use its 850-MHz spectrum after the expiry of its concession on September 15.

But in a 4-2 ruling on a final decision, the NBTC has denied Dtac's request, the Bangkok Post reported

Dtac has recently filed a petition to the nation's Central Administrative Court seeking an emergency injunction on the NBTC's original decision to refuse the extension of the concession to prevent service disruption for customers still using the spectrum.

The court's ruling is expected before the expiry date, the report states. But if the court does not rule in Dtac's favor, the operator will be required to switch off its 850-MHz service at midnight on Friday night.

While only around 90,000 of Dtac's 21 million customers are still using the 850-MHz network, according to the NBTC, Dtac has said that because it uses the spectrum for network roaming its entire customer base could face connection problems in areas covered by the network.

But in making its decision, the NBTC decided that roaming customers and mobile customers of Dtac subsidiary Dtac TriNet are not explicitly served under the expiring concession, so the potential for disruption should not be taken into account.

Dtac also decided to abstain from an auction of 900-MHz spectrum that would have allowed the operator to migrate its equipment from 850-MHz to 900-MHz, the NBTC said.

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