Thailand will reportedly re-auction 900MHz 4G spectrum on 24 June, the licence recently forfeited by Jasmine Mobile.
According to the Bangkok Post, Thai regulator National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) 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 ($2.1 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, added the report.
Unsurprisingly, Jasmine will be banned from participating, but all interested bidders will be allowed to take part.
Jasmine said it was forced to default on the payment after its Chinese partners failed to gain regulatory approval for the venture in time to meet NBTC’s deadline, which required a 50 per cent payment by 21 March. True Move won the other 10MHz of 900MHz spectrum, and made its payment on time.
Should the auction fail to attract any bidders, NBTC will reportedly suspend the auction for one year.