Thailand may issue joint-tower 3G licenses

Dylan Bushell-Embling
08 Feb 2012
Daily News

Thailand's telecom regulator is considering issuing joint tower licenses to operators participating in the upcoming 2.1-GHz 3G auction, in a bid to encourage the participation of new players.

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) may issue special “tower dual-location licenses” during the auction, Bangkok Postreported.

Some members of the NBTC believe that if existing private operators AIS, DTAC and True Corp are the only participants in the auction, that would be too few bidders, The Nationsaid.

Under the license terms being considered, existing operators could be required to share their telecom towers with new entrants to the market.

The goal is to reduce the costs of entry for newcomers, by relieving the requirement to deploy 3G networks from scratch.

The NBTC has 45 MHz of 2.1-GHz spectrum to auction off. It is speculated that the regulator will allocate three blocks of 15 MHz each.

But the regulator has yet to make a final decision on whether the entire 45 MHz should be auctioned, or if some should be set aside for public services.

The base price for the spectrum auction will be 12.8 billion baht ($415.04 million).

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