Thai 4G update: NBTC calls for 3-month delay

Don Sambandaraksa
09 Apr 2015
00:00

Thailand’s long awaited 4G auction may be pushed back another three months in order to accommodate Dtac’s offer for the early return of 1800-MHz spectrum.

The delay would also be used to allow for the reshuffling of spectrum so that industry-standard 10-MHz blocks can be auctioned instead of the current two 12.5-MHz blocks.

General Boonyavat Kruahongs, chairman of the inspection and evaluation committee - better known as the NBTC superboard - made the announcement, saying that a few months’ delay would be worth if if more spectrum can be put on the table.

Last week, National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission secretary-general Takorn Tantasit dismissed Dtac’s offer for spectrum return and defragmentation saying that he would set up a committee to look into it for a possible 2016 auction.

The auction has already been delayed one year following the coup and recently the new Digital Economy board ordered an 4G auction by August, which was later delayed to November and December.

TrueMove CEO Supachai Chearavanont urged the regulator to put 2300 and 2600 spectrum on the auction block as well. However, Supachai expressed doubts that Dtac’s 1800 return would happen smoothly because of concession holder CAT Telecom.

CAT Telecom has laid claim to that unused spectrum and Supachai said that they might be accused of criminal dereliction of duty if they let “their” spectrum be returned without a fight.

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