Thai 4G: Deputy PM tightens reauction timeline

29 Mar 2016

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krueangam who has stepped into the mess left after Jas Mobile Broadband walked away without paying for its 900-MHz licence. He has stated that there would be no need to invoke the junta’s absolute power clause in the interim constitution just yet - though he did give the telecom regulator strict marching orders.

He said the NBTC must successfully auction off the spectrum at a price that is not less than what Jas bid and must do so within one year. It it fails then Jasmine must be held responsible for any shortfall.

Earlier NBTC Takorn Tantasit had put a timeframe of 4 months for an auction with the starting price of Jas’ winning bid and a second auction one year after that if it fails to go.

Takorn said the starting price might be lowered to Dtac’s last bid of $1.98 billion (70.18 billion baht) instead of Jas Mobile’s winning bid of $2.14 billion (75.65 billion baht) or even a round figure of 70 billion baht.

The auction guarantee would rise to between 10 to 30% of the revised opening bid (previously it was 5% of 12.88 billion baht opening bid)

Takorn said the draft auction rules would be finished by April 12 which would then be put out for public comment between April 18 to May 23 and should be formalised in the Royal Gazette by 31 May. The auction will be held by June 20 at the latest.

Takorn said that Dtac had protested TrueMove’s inclusion in the auction given that they already had won half the 900-MHz spectrum. However, Takorn said the NBTC insists that True will be eligible to take part.

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