Thailand’s ICT minister has recommended that the country’s state-owned operators and broadcasters return their used spectrum so it can be refarmed and auctioned as 4G spectrum.
ICT Minister Pornchai Rujiprpa said he plans to submit a proposal to the government’s newly formed digital economic committee to put spectrum refarming on its agenda in order to free up additional bandwidth for 4G services, the Bangkok Post reported.
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) will hold 900MHz and 1.8GMHz spectrum auctions in November and December, but the country’s mobile operators are calling for additional spectrum to be made available.
Currently just two 12.5MHz slots of 1.8GHz spectrum are scheduled to be auctioned. Operators have said they need at least 20MHz to offer 4G service effectively.
Pornchai said state agencies could be offered other frequency bands in exchange for giving up their unused airwaves or they could be compensated. He expects to work out a deal with state-owed TOT and CAT by the end of the year, the Post reported.
He also noted that the government plans to add a section to the draft NBTC bill to give the regulator more power over spectrum reallocation.