Thailand’s National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has finalized the country’s 3G licensing framework.
The commission, which approved its 3G Information Memorandum on Saturday, has raised the auction’s reserve price to 12.8 billion baht ($394.5m), from an earlier proposed 10 billion baht.
To encourage network rollout, the new rules propose that operators be allowed to pay second license installments in year three, with 80% population coverage.
The initial requirement, proposed in June, was for 50% to be paid on license receipt.
Meanwhile, the controversial N-1 clause has been retained, meaning if there are three pre-qualified bidders, only two licenses will be auctioned in the first round.
However, under this scenario, the third license will be auctioned within 90 days of the first auction. The starting bid will be equal to the second highest bid from the first auction.
The NTC proposes that a maximum of three 15-year licenses of 2x15MHz apiece be sold via auction beginning August 30.
Thai operators AIS, DTAC and True Move are all seeking 3G licenses.
NTT DoCoMo is also speculated to be interested in bidding.
The draft, NTC’s fourth attempt at setting rules for 3G, needs to be approved by parliament before becoming law.