Thailand’s largest operator AIS reportedly is willing to pay THB75.7 billion ($2.1 billion) for the 900MHz spectrum forfeited by Jasmine Mobile and wants the regulator to issue a licence after it pays the same price as Jasmine’s winning bid, which is also the price set for a possible re-auction.

According to the Nation, AIS yesterday sent a letter to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), which will consider the proposal today. If NBTC agrees, AIS will need to hold a shareholders’ meeting, which could take two months, the Nation reported.

If the proposal doesn’t go through, the regulator would make the same offer to dtac and True Move.

NBTC announced last week it will re-auction the 900MHz spectrum on 24 June. It reportedly will hold the auction under tougher rules, including a rise in financial guarantees from bidders, and increased penalties if the winners fail to pay.

The country’s licencing process was hit significantly after Jasmine last month defaulted on its payment for the 4G licence it won in December’s auction for THB76 billion. This price, as expected, will now be the reserve set for the re-auction.

Tougher conditions to participate in the auction include a requirement by bidders to put up 5 per cent of the new reserve price, or THB3.78 billion, before the auction starts. December’s auction reserve price was set at just THB12.9 billion, meaning the minimum amount bidders needed to pay in December to participate was only THB644 million.

Bidders will also have to pay an additional THB11.35 billion if they default on licence payments.

Should the auction fail to attract any bidders, NBTC will suspend the auction for one year.