The Thai government has asked the Information and Communication Technology Ministry to reclaim 100MHz of unused 2.3GHz spectrum from state-owned operator TOT for the upcoming 4G auctions.
At a meeting of the digital economy committee last week, deputy prime minister Pridiyathorn Devakula asked the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) to look at including additional spectrum bands in the auction as well as the planned 900MHz and 1.8GHz bands.
The ICT minister has suggested that in return for giving up the airwaves, the TOT might be allowed to keep the 17.5MHz of 900MHz spectrum now used by market leader AIS, the Bangkok Post reported. This would help TOT survive after its build-transfer-operate concession contract with AIS expires in September.
Meanwhile, an unnamed NBTC commissioner has said that restrictions under martial law will make it difficult to hold the auctions before November. The source, the Post reported, also has questioned the government’s decision to include the 2.6GHz band in the auctions, stating that it’s not an “internationally recognised standard” – which of course isn’t the case, since it’s widely used around Asia.