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NBTC eyes 2.6 GHz for next telecom licence

Dec 17. 2015
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By Usanee Mongkolporn,

Sirivis

The 2.6-gigahertz spectrum could be the next one the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission puts up for auction, NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith said yesterday.

 

It will be used for fourth-generation wireless broadband service, he said.

Meanwhile, the total value of the two 900-megahertz licences being sold in the current auction, which started on Tuesday, had passed Bt100 billion by early yesterday.

MCOT, which currently holds 144MHz of the 2.6GHz spectrum, has asked the NBTC to allow it to use the band to provide broadcasting service with pay-TV operator PlayWork. Takorn said MCOT had agreed to hand over half of this bandwidth to the NBTC for reallocation on the condition that the commission grants its request to offer services with PlayWork.

He said auctioning the 2.6GHz spectrum could have great benefits for the country.

Settapong Malisuwan, chairman of the NBTC telecom committee, said the auctions of licences on the 1,800MHz spectrum last month and on 900MHz this week enabled the telecom operators to acquire additional bandwidth to provide 5G service in 2020 when that next-generation technology is globally introduced commercially.

He said each telecom operator should own at least 50MHz on multiple spectrum bands. Therefore, it is not surprising that the competition in the 900MHz auction has been fierce, as the bidders want to acquire as much as bandwidth as possible.

Takorn said the high bids for the 900MHz licences indicated that |foreign strategic partners of the bidders were highly confident in Thailand.

The NBTC had hired the economics faculty of Chiang Mai University to evaluate the economic value of the 4G licence auctions. Based on the scenario that all four bid winners start their services early next year, the 4G auctions could create Bt150 billion in investment on related infrastructure over the next two years.

There would also be more than Bt1.3 trillion in indirect economic added value created by industries ranging from hotels to health over the five years from 2016 to 2020.

Takorn brushed aside a concern that the high final price would add operating cost to the bid winners. He said all of the bidders had studied the situation thoroughly before |taking part in the auction.

The regulator successfully |auctioned off two 1,800MHz licences last month, for total up|front payments of more than Bt80 billion.

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