4G services will boost the Thai economy by an estimated THB1 trillion ($28 billion) over the next five years, according to a study by the telecoms regulator.

4G subscribers on the 1.8GHz spectrum are forecast to reach 20 million next year, said Settapong Malisuwan, vice chairman of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).

The launch of 4G in the country, which has been pushed back more than a year since the 4G auctions were delayed after the coup in 2014, will generate an estimated THB119 billion in telecoms business by 2020, as well as THB114 billion for the macro economy, THB284 billion in the capital markets and financial investments, THB50.6 billion in 4G usage and THB109 billion in mobile transactions, the Bangkok Post reported.

The 4G infrastructure will also create THB18.2 billion in revenue for the entertainment sector, THB37.4 billion for education, THB5 billion for social welfare activities and THB111 billion for the public health sector, NBTC said.

The high-speed data service also will create electronic waste-related businesses worth THB76 billion, the study found.

The long-delayed 1.8GHz auction was held last month and generated THB80.8 billion ($2.25 billion) for the government, with AIS winning with a THB41 billion bid and True Move paying THB39.8 billion. The bids were 158 per cent and 150 per cent over the reserve price respectively.

The 900MHz auction (two blocks of 10MHz) is scheduled to start tomorrow and fierce bidding is also expected, with prices per licence to be roughly the same as the 1.8GHz.