Thai 3G auction reserve price set

Don Sambandaraksa
Thailand’s telecom regulator has finalized its auction reserve price at $141 million (4.5 billion baht) per 5-MHz slot. and expects an auction by October.
 
The price was based on the previous regulator’s floor price of 12.8 billion baht per 15-MHz licence, plus 7% inflation over the three years since the aborted auction. Nine slots - or 45 MHz of 2.1-GHz spectrum - are up for grabs.
 
Each bidder will need to put down 30% of the reserve price of the number of slots they wish to bid for.
 
The NBTC will use a simultaneous ascending bid auction. Each bidder will name the number of 5-MHz slots they want. If there is more demand than there are slots, then the price of every slot will go up until bidders withdraw their demands and demand for slots equals supply.
 
NBTC deputy chairman Col. Settapong Malisuwan said that he expects only three bidders, AIS, Dtac and TrueMove, but said it would be nice if there was a fourth bidder. He also said that the plan would now be put to the full NBTC board for ratification on 26 June.
 
Earlier it was reported that the cap would be set at 20 MHz per operator. This has raised the possibility, given the relative strengths of the players in the Thai market, that the industry will end up with an effective duopoly - with two operators with 20 MHz each and one with just 5 MHz.

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