Thai regulator the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has published yet another 3G blueprint, which proposes auctioning three licenses rather than four, beginning August 30.
The NTC’s third 3G Information Memorandum, published yesterday, calls for a maximum of three 15-year licences of 2x15MHz apiece to be auctioned, with the reserve price of 10 billion baht ($306.6m) per license.
Under a previous proposal, there were to be three 2x10MHz licenses auctioned with a reserve price of 4.6 billion baht, alongside a 2x15MHz license with a reserve of 5.2 billion baht.
Long-time speculation was that the three smaller licenses would go to incumbents AIS, DTAC and True Move, with the 2x15MHz license expected to be snapped up by a new player, such as NTT DoCoMo or China Mobile.
The plan offers just one day of public consultation - June 25 – and final IM is slated to published in the Royal Gazette on July 1.
The auction is to begin on August 30 and the licenses are due to be issued in September.
Under the IM, successful bidders will need to pay a license fee of 2% and a Universal Service Obligation of 4%.
There is also a requirement that 3G network pass 50% of the population by year two.
The memorandum also proposes that 3G licensees reserve 40% of network capacity for MVNOs and cannot deny access if that 40% is not used up.