Thai 4G auction could be delayed again

Dylan Bushell-Embling
06 Feb 2015

Complications surrounding the development of Thailand's digital economy laws threaten to further delay the nation's planned 4G auction, according to a working group focused on the initiative.

The planned auction of 42.5-MHz of 900-MHz spectrum currently held by AIS under an expiring concession agreement could be indefinitely delayed, the Bangkok Post reported, citing a member of the digital economy committee.

If the digital economy initiative does not get off the ground, there's no guarantee that the auction will even be rescheduled, the committee member said.

Thailand's Council of State is currently amending the internal legislative structures of the digital economy committee's draft bill.

Among the proposed changes are reducing the number of committee members to 12 from 32, and replacing Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha with a deputy minister as the chair of the committee.

The bill will be designed to cover elements such as the purpose of spectrum bands, so without a digital economy bill the 4G auction – originally planned to be completed by August – faces delays, the report states.

The 4G auction had originally been scheduled to be completed last year, but the junta ordered regulator NBTC to postpone the process by one year while it revises the way it allocates spectrum.

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