Thailand plans three 4G auctions

Dylan Bushell-Embling
20 Feb 2014

Thai regulator NBTC has announced plans to conduct three separate auctions of 4G-capable spectrum by September 2015.

The NBTC is preparing to reallocate 92.5 MHz for spectrum from the 900-MHz and 1,800-MHz band that had been allocated to private mobile operators under the concession model.

These concessions are due to expire over the next few years, and Thailand is transitioning to the internationally standard licensing model.

NBTC vice chairman Settapong Malisuwan told theBangkok Post that the regulator will first auction 25 MHz of 1800-MHz spectrum previously used by TrueMove and DPC in March.

This will be followed by an auction of 17.5 MHz of 900-MHz spectrum in use by AIS in November, and an auction of 50 MHz of 1800-MHz spectrum being used by DTAC in September 2015.

Winners will be allocated their spectrum once these concessions expire. For AIS' spectrum, this means March 2015, while DTAC's concession is set to end by 2018.

Settapong said the regulator had considered bundling all the spectrum into a package bidding model, but was concerned about possible legal conflicts considering the time left on some of the concessions.

Operators will be able to participate in all three auctions, and NBTC plans to set a cap on the maximum spectrum won by any one player. The regulator does not plan to set stipulations on what technologies winning bidders are required to use.

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