Thailand’s independent regulator, the National Broadcasting & Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), is planning to hold an auction for spectrum in the 850MHz and 1800MHz bands – currently utilised by Digital Total Access Communications (DTAC) – in January 2018. The Bangkok Post writes that NBTC’s decision to hold the tender three months ahead of its original plan is aiming to ensure that DTAC’s services are not disrupted prior to the 2018 expiration of its concession. DTAC currently utilises 45MHz of 1800MHz spectrum and 10MHz of 850MHz frequencies, under its build-transfer-operate (BTO) revenue-sharing agreement with state-owned telco CAT Telecom (expiring in September 2018). Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the NBTC, said that a total of four concessions will be allocated – three in the 1800MHz band, and one in the 850MHz range. The executive said that he expects the auction for the two spectrum ranges to generate at least THB150 billion (USD4.5 billion) for the state, with the valuation based on the fees collected in a similar tender held in late 2015 (in which DTAC failed to secure any spectrum). Mr Takorn Tantasith said: ‘The auction of the 1800MHz and 850MHz spectra in January 2018 may draw less interest from Advanced Info Service (AIS) and True Corp, who already won 4G auction licences in 2015,’ adding that ‘DTAC would most certainly be a prospective bidder.’
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