Thailand’s National Broadcasting & Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) told a press conference today that it plans to hold the country’s 900MHz technology-neutral mobile licence auction on 12 November. A mid-December date had previously been mooted for the 900MHz sale, but the regulator now intends to proceed one day after the 1800MHz 4G licence auction scheduled for 11 November, NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith announced. It has also been confirmed that four qualified bidders are entering the competition for two available 1800MHz concessions, namely Advanced Wireless Network (a subsidiary of mobile market leader Advanced Info Service [AIS]), DTAC TriNet Network (a unit of second-placed cellco DTAC), third-ranked cellular operator True Corp’s True Move H Universal Communication subsidiary, and Jas Mobile (part of Jasmine International, the parent of Thai fixed network operator Triple T Broadband [3BB]). The minimum starting bid for an 1800MHz (15MHz bandwidth) licence will be THB15.91 billion (USD448 million), according to the NBTC’s auction rules, while the watchdog predicts that each concession could fetch more than THB20 billion.
Thai telecoms start-up Mobile LTE – a consortium of local ICT and oil trading firms – is lining up for the 900MHz auction alongside the aforementioned four companies.