Jas Mobile Broadband, the failed cellular start-up of Thai broadband group Jasmine International, yesterday paid a fine of THB840 million (USD23.2 million) for its failure to pay for the 900MHz licence it won at auction in December 2015 with a bid of THB75.65 billion, the Bangkok Post reports. After the March payment deadline passed, the technology-neutral (4G) concession was subsequently sold to mobile market leader AIS in May 2016. The National Broadcasting & Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) will pass the fine on to state coffers, said NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith.
Also yesterday, AIS was officially granted its new 15-year 900MHz licence (via subsidiary Advanced Wireless Network), after it made its first payment instalment on Tuesday. AIS paid THB8.6 billion and provided three bank guarantees for the rest of the THB75.65 billion licence price tag. Somchai Lertsutiwong, CEO of AIS, said the company will initially allocate 5MHz of bandwidth on the 900MHz spectrum to provide 2G mobile services, with the remainder reserved for 4G mobile broadband services.