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Telecoms watchdog to consider spectrum limit for operators

Jun 22. 2015
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By Usanee Mongkolporn

The Nati

THE National Broadcasting |and Telecommunications Com-mission's telecom committee will convene on Wednesday to discuss |a proposal to cap the maximum spectrum amount each telecom operator can own at 60MHz bandwidth.

According to NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith, the NBTC office will submit the proposal for the committee’s consideration as part of the watchdog’s plan to auction 1800MHz and 900MHz spectrum licences this year.

Currently, DTAC (Total Access Communication) owns the most bandwidth at 75MHz, of which 15MHz is on 2.1GHz, 50MHz on 1800MHz and 10MHz on 800MHz. Its concession is due to expire in 2018.

Advanced Info Service holds 32.5MHz bandwidth, of which 15MHz is on 2.1GHz and 17.5MHz is on 900MHz. Its 900MHz concession will expire this September.

True Corp holds 15MHz bandwidth on 2.1GHz.

Takorn said the NBTC office would propose to the committee to set the maximum spectrum ownership of each telecom operator at 60MHz bandwidth.

Those owning 60MHz of spectrum bandwidth will be allowed to bid for additional spectrum licences. However, if they win bands they would have to transfer their existing spectra to the NBTC in an amount equal to what they clinched.

There will be four licences up for auction – two 12.5 megahertz bandwidth on the 1,800MHz spectrum and two 10MHz bandwidth on the 900MHz spectrum.

The two 12.5MHz bandwidth on the 1800MHz had been held by TrueMove and Digital Phone Co.

The NBTC will hold the 1,800MHz auction in November, and take bids for the two 900MHz licences in December.

DTAC recently proposed to transfer 5MHz bandwidth of its 1800MHz to the NBTC for auction. If the NBTC accepts the proposal, it would have a total of 30MHz bandwidth of 1800MHz to auction, versus 25MHz bandwidth in the original plan.

But DTAC will only transfer the bandwidth on the condition that the NBTC splits the 30MHz bandwidth into three licences of 10MHz bandwidth each.

Takorn questioned DTAC trying to impose a condition on the watchdog.

If the NBTC agrees to the request, it might attract public criticism and pave the way for the three major telecom operators to easily grab the licences.

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