Thailand’s National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has announced that the reserve price for a 3G license has been set in the range of THB3.3 billion to THB6.6 billion (US$100 million to US$200 million) in preparation for an auction later this year, writes the Bangkok Post. Choochart Promprasit, the chairman of the regulator, said the prices would be submitted to the NTC board for approval on Wednesday along with the draft 3G auction rules and comments added by the country’s prime minister. He said the prices were based on criteria including industry data, auction prices in other countries, prices of spectrum that state-owned telco TOT had returned to the NTC, and the cost of the 3G spectrum that TOT bought from its sister company CAT Telecom as part of the transferral of ownership of cellular unit Thai Mobile.
The long-awaited auction could happen in December, according to recent reports. Under the draft plan, NTC will issue four 15-year licenses for the 2.1GHz frequency, with one license of 15MHz bandwidth and 3 licenses of 10MHz. The NTC will hold its next public hearing on the licensing on 29 October to respond to questions industry executives raised at the first session on 28 September. According to Wireless Intelligence, AIS is the country’s largest mobile operator with 28 million subscribers and a 44 percent market share. In second place is DTAC (with a 30 percent market share), followed by True Move (24 percent share).