NBTC Finalizes Auction Schedule Beginning August
Thailand’s National Broadcasting & Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has approved the final timeframe for technology-neutral auctions in the 1800MHz and 900MHz spectrum bands. Two licenses covering 25MHz of 1800MHz band spectrum, previously used by 2G operators True Move (part of True Corp) and Digital Phone Co (part of Advanced Info Service [AIS]), will be auctioned in August this year, while one 17.5MHz license in the 900MHz band (currently in use by AIS) is scheduled to be auctioned in November (in advance of its 2G expiry in March 2015). Furthermore, the NBTC will call bids next year for 50MHz in the 1800MHz band currently in partial use by DTAC under a 2G concession set to expire at the beginning of 2018.
The reserve price for 1800MHz spectrum is expected to be in the same range as Thailand’s 2100MHz licenses auctioned in 2012, but the 900MHz reserve price should be higher. True Corp will shut the True Move 2G service if it wins 1800MHz spectrum at the August auction.
If an NBTC study finds that it is technically appropriate to auction a slightly larger – 20MHz – block of 900MHz spectrum, it may consider making two licenses instead of one available at the November auction.