Thailand’s government has announced that the country’s anticipated technology-neutral 900MHz/1800MHz mobile licence auction will be held by August this year, allaying concerns that the already-delayed process would be pushed back further. As reported by TelecomAsia, Deputy Prime Minister Pridiyathorn Devakul confirmed that the National Broadcasting & Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) is ‘ready’ to conduct the 4G auction. Pridiyathorn also denied claims that the government will ‘micro-manage’ the tender, promising that the NBTC will be allowed to proceed unhindered, although the regulator will be required to report to Thailand’s new Digital Economy board every month after the board is formally authorised. The deputy PM also indicated that the government would accelerate efforts to reallocate other spectrum bands including the 2300MHz and 2600MHz ranges for 4G mobile usage, aiming to include these too in the licence auction process alongside the 900MHz and 1800MHz frequencies already up for grabs. He added that negotiations were being held with broadcaster MCOT to negotiate the return of 120MHz of 2.5GHz spectrum for inclusion in the 4G auction ‘within two weeks’.
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