Thailand’s State Council ruled the acting National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) board has the authority to hold an auction of spectrum in the 850MHz and 1.8GHz bands, Bangkok Post reported.
NBTC board member Prawit Leesathapornwongsa suggested two weeks ago the auction couldn’t be held until a new board takes over later in the year because the acting board, whose six-year term expired in October 2017, would no longer be able to make policy decisions at the end of this month, the newspaper said.
An original draft of the planned auctions was approved by the NBTC board and passed a public hearing in December 2017. But a revised plan, calling for the number of slots offered in the 1.8GHz band to be increased from three to nine to make the sale more competitive, hasn’t been approved by the acting board as some members disagree with the amendment.
The State Council, an advisory body reporting to Thailand’s prime minister on legislative matters, suggested the board meet on 11 April to consider the amended draft of the auction, Bangkok Post said.
Any delay in the auction would be huge setback for dtac, the country’s third largest mobile operator, whose concession with state-owned CAT Telecom to operate 2G services on the two bands expires on 15 September. The NBTC originally planned to hold the auctions in January 2018, but later pushed the date back to May before the question of the board’s authority to schedule the sale arose.