Thailand’s independent regulator, the National Broadcasting & Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), has settled on the reserve price for the spectrum auction in the 850MHz and 1800MHz bands, which are currently utilised by Digital Total Access Communications (DTAC). The Bangkok Post writes that the tender – scheduled to be held by May 2018 – could generate THB150 billion (USD4.5 billion) for the state. Under the NBTC’s decision, the starting price for the sole 850MHz concession – comprising 890MHz-895MHz/935MHz-940MHz frequencies – will be THB37.98 billion, with a THB1.9 billion bid guarantee for each participant. Regarding the three blocks of spectrum in the 1800MHz band – 1740MHz-1755MHz/1835MHz-1850MHz, 1755MHz-1770MHz/1850MHz-1865MHz and 1770MHz-1785MHz/1865MHz-1880MHz – the regulator has set a starting price of THB37.45 billion (THB1.87 billion guarantee). TeleGeography notes that 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, also revealed that Jas Mobile will be allowed to join next year’s auction, despite the company defaulting on its first licence installment in the 2015 900MHz auction: ‘After a thorough consideration it’s better to allow Jas because the company could file a complaint to the court against the NBTC if the company is blacklisted, which could damage the auction’s timeline.’