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Regulator ‘confident’ telecoms will buy 700MHz slots today 

Jun 18. 2019
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By SIRIVISH TOOMGUM
THE NATION

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THE NATIONAL Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) secretary-general Takorn Tantasith yesterday expressed confidence that the three 900MHz telecom operators will each purchase one of the three 700MHz slots today.

The NBTC will today put on sale three slots at the 700MHz spectrum at a price of Bt17.584 billion. Each slot features a 10MHz bandwidth. The licence term will be 15 years and payments for the licence is divided into 10 instalments.

The company that picks up a slot will start paying for it next October.

The NBTC will use the proceeds from the slot sales to help ease the financial burden of the digital TV broadcasters.

The sale of the 700MHz slots is related to the junta’s recent launch of relief measures to ease the financial burden of the three 900MHz telecom operators as well as digital TV broadcasters. 

The three 900MHz operators are subsidiaries of Advanced Info Service (AIS), Total Access Communication (DTAC) and True Corp.

Under the junta relief measures, the NBTC will split the total upfront licence fee for the 900MHz spectrum of the three licence holders into total 10 instalments, giving them more time to make payments from the current four instalments.

However, the junta’s relief measures include a condition that makes it mandatory for any 900MHz licence holder taking up the relief measures to purchase a 700MHz spectrum slot from the NBTC.

If they decline to buy the slots, they will lose the longer instalment plan and would have to pay as per the original payment schedule.

According to the original schedule, AIS subsidiary Advanced Wireless Network (AWN) and True Corp’s subsidiary TrueMove H Universal Communication (TUC) are scheduled to pay hefty final instalments of Bt59.574 billion and Bt60.218 billion, respectively, for their 900MHz licences in 2020. 

DTAC subsidiary DTAC TriNet is due to pay its Bt30.024 billion final instalment for the 900MHz band in 2022.

 

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