Thailand’s telecoms regulator pushed back a sale of 700MHz airwaves planned for May to August or September as it needs more time to prepare for the auction, Bangkok Post reported.

Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, said plans for recalling spectrum from broadcasters and compensating them, along with setting of the auction conditions are expected to be finalised in April, with the reserve price to be set in May, the newspaper reported.

He said NBTC then needs at least three months to complete all the preparation for the auction for the 700MHz band, which won’t be available until 2020. TV operators using the band will be reassigned spectrum in the T-Band (470MHz to 510MHz).

The draft auction plan was approved after a public hearing. Seven blocks of 5MHz will be sold.

Despite a lack of interest from country’s three major mobile operators, which have all spent billions of baht on spectrum over the past three years, the regulator said in October 2018 it planned to hold a 4G auction in February to sell spectrum which went unsold in previous sales. It added it was looking to more than double the payment period from previous sales to attract interest.

The target was first delayed in December 2018.

In late January, the regulator in late January announced new plans to hold a 5G spectrum auction across the 26GHz, 28GHz and 2.6GHz bands later this year.