Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) stuck to its guns over the timing of a 700MHz auction, rejecting a proposal to delay the process from May until December, Bangkok Post reported.
An NBTC subcommittee previously proposed delaying the sale because the band won’t be freed up until 2020, but the organisation’s board put its foot down, the newspaper stated. Seven 5MHz-blocks of spectrum in the band will be sold. The 700MHz licences have a 20-year term and the winning bidders are required to pay 20 per cent of the final price in the first year.
Bangkok Post said the auction is generating international interest, with representatives from operators based in Malaysia and South Korea having met with NBTC secretary general Takorn Tantasith to discuss potential participation.
The companies are waiting for clarification on auction terms and are unlikely to move forward if reserve prices are similar to previous auctions, Bangkok Post said. It noted Thailand’s three major operators spent a combined THB270 billion ($8.5 billion) on 3G and 4G licences.
True Move, the country’s second-largest operator, announced last week it doesn’t plan to participate in the 700MHz auction.