According to the Bangkok Post, Thai telecoms group True Corp (including True Move) has asked the regulator, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), to reduce the auction reserve price for third-generation (3G) mobile frequencies in order to support domestically-owned players. The wholly Thai-owned operator argues that lowering the reserve price of spectrum will allow it to better compete with foreign-backed cellcos, the paper quotes True’s CFO Noppadol Dejudom as saying. The official’s comments are no doubt a hint towards the current market leader Advanced Info Service, which is controlled by Singapore’s Temasek Holdings and SingTel, and the second-placed operator Total Access Communication (DTAC), majority owned by Telenor of Norway. The NBTC has set a reserve price of THB4.5 billion (USD111.6 million) for each block of 5MHz of 2100MHz spectrum in the 3G auction, which is expected to begin sometime in October. Under the licensing conditions laid down, winning bidders must pay half of the licence costs to the NBTC within 45 days of the auction.
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