Thailand’s ICT Minister Uttama Savanayana has confirmed the return of an additional 5MHz of spectrum from state-owned CAT Telecom to enable two 15MHz licences in the 1800MHz band to be offered in the 4G (technology-neutral) auction scheduled for 11 November. CAT’s board held an urgent meeting after its build-transfer-operate (BTO) mobile licensee DTAC advised the state agency that it had agreed to unconditionally hand over 5MHz of an idle 25MHz of 1800MHz bandwidth. Sanphachai Huvanan-dana, CAT’s acting CEO, confirmed that the board approved the transfer plan. However, TelecomAsia writes that question marks remain over how the two 15MHz concession blocks will be made contiguous – as this requires further agreements between operators to shift spectrum ranges – whilst it is anticipated that the government may effectively compensate CAT by handing it a free 4G licence on the remaining unused 20MHz of 1800MHz frequencies.
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