Wednesday, November 13, 2019

NBTC aims for 5G rollout within March

Oct 23. 2019
Takorn Tantasith, NBTC secretary-general
Takorn Tantasith, NBTC secretary-general
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By THE NATION

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The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) intends to complete bidding on 56 licences for spectrum bands of 5G wireless broadband service by early February.

Takorn Tantasith, NBTC secretary-general, said the bids will cover multiple bands at the same time, including the remaining 700MHz and 1800MHz bandwidths, as well as the 2,600MHz and 26GHz.

Though each bidder will have a choice of their desired bands and bandwidths, the NBTC will cap the 26GHz at no more than 1,200MHz bandwidth per bidder, while the 2,600MHz will be capped at a maximum of 100MHz bandwidth per bidder.

The regulator aims to grant the 5G licences within February, so bid winners can start the network rollout by March.

The NBTC will auction off a total of 15MHz bandwidth of the 700MHz spectrum, which will be divided into three licences of 5MHz bandwidth each. Also on tender will be 35MHz bandwidth of 1,800MHz split into seven licences of 5MHz each.

The starting price for the 700MHz licence will be Bt17.584 billion, based on the price NBTC put the band on sale in June this year.

The 1,800MHz licences will go for around Bt12.5 billion each based on the winning price of the previous bid.

NBTC will also auction the 190MHz bandwidth of the 2,600MHz, which will be split into 19 licences of 10MHz bandwidth each, while the 2,700MHz bandwidth of the 26GHz spectrum band will be divided into 27 licences of 100MHz each.

Takorn added that the NBTC will disclose the starting price of the 2,600MHz and the 26GHz spectrum bands on October 30.

The watchdog aims to submit the auction timeframes and details of all these bands to the telecom subcommittee on November 6, before they are forwarded to the NBTC board for consideration. It intends to invite bidders by December 20.

Related story: Lao Telecom seeks edge in meeting 5G demand Corporate

Related story:  Vietnam to phase out 2G service soon

Related story:  Thai telecom operators could see annual revenue boost of $1 billion from 5G

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