Thailand’s telecoms regulator was asked to consider giving mobile operators additional time to pay for 5G licences along with other potential relief, to account for a hit to their finances caused by Covid-19 (coronavirus), Bangkok Post reported.
A national 5G committee chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) to consider delaying the payments alongside other potential aid packages for the sector.
The regulator is tasked with making recommendations at the committee’s next meeting, due sometime in April, the newspaper reported.
In February 2020, AIS, True Move, dtac, CAT Telecom and TOT committed THB100.5 billion ($3.3 million) on 2,805MHz of spectrum in the 700MHz, 2600MHz and 26GHz bands.
The operators are required to pay for the 700MHz and 2600MHz licences over ten years. The winning bidders of the 26GHZ spectrum need to pay the full amount within a year of the licences being issued.
But operators recorded declines in Q4 2020, with AIS’ mobile revenue dropping, True Move recording a loss and dtac’s profit shrinking.
In 2018 the NBTC recommended relaxing the payment terms of 4G licences awarded to AIS and True Move in 2015, but later dropped the proposal following criticism.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back