Thai cellular start-up Jas Mobile has forfeited its right to the technology-neutral (4G) 900MHz mobile licence it won at auction in December, following its failure to meet the licence payment deadline yesterday (21 March 2016). Jas Mobile – a subsidiary of Jasmine International (parent of Thai fixed network operator Triple T Broadband [3BB]) – did not produce the necessary THB8 billion (USD230 million) initial instalment plus bank guarantees for the remainder of the total THB75 billion licence price. As reported by the Bangkok Post, Thailand’s National Broadcasting & Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) confirmed that the payment default means that the regulator is permitted to confiscate Jas Mobile’s pre-auction deposit of THB645 million, whilst the watchdog’s telecoms committee will now set up a working panel to discuss potential further penalties for Jas plus proposals for a re-auction. Jasmine International has been threatened with the possibility of losing its fixed broadband operating licence, whilst Thai mobile market leader AIS (which was outbid in the December auction by Jas and True Corp) is expected to be a contender for the now-spare 900MHz spectrum.
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