Thai 1800-MHz auction attracts just two bids

20 Aug 2018

Thailand's second attempt to auction 90 MHz of 1800-MHz spectrum was only marginally more successful than the first, with only two of the nine blocks of spectrum sold.

An auction on Sunday saw a mere 20 MHz of bandwidth sold, with one 10 MHz block going to AIS subsidiary AWN and a second being sold to Dtac subsidiary Dtac TriNet, the Bangkok Postreported.

Both blocks were sold for 12.5 billion baht, only slightly above the reserve price of 12.48 billion baht ($376 million) per block, and there were no competitive bids for either block sold.

Dtac had been expected to bid for two blocks of 1800-MHz spectrum, but the operator believes that one block will be enough to replace the loss of spectrum as a result of the expiry of its concession next month.

During the previous attempt to auction the spectrum in June, none of the market's three operators applied to participate and bidding had to be canceled.

According to the report, regulator NBTC plans to hold a third round of auctions for the remaining spectrum by the end of the year, but is considering amending the terms to give operators more time to pay.

Current conditions require operators to pay 50% of the winning bid price within 90 days, a further 25% by the end of the second year and the final 25% by the end of the third.

The NBTC may also consider decreasing the reserve price, which has been a source of contention among mobile operators.

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