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NBTC expects good response to auction of spectrum bandwidths

Oct 31. 2019
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By THE NATION

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) expects all licences for the 2,600MHz spectrum band as well as those for the 26GHz band to be grabbed up during the upcoming auction of licences, NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith said on October 30.

The NBTC will call bids for 56 licences of four spectrum bands on February 16. Apart from the 2,600MHz and 26GHz bandwidths, the other spectra up for auction will be the remaining 700MHz and 1800MHz bandwidths. 

Takorn added that potential bidders may not be interested in bidding for the remaining 1800MHz and 700MHz bandwidths, given that many acquired these licences in previous auctions. 

The watchdog will auction 19 licences of the 2,600MHz band, each containing 10MHz bandwidth, for Bt1.862 billion each. Also, 27 licences for the 26GHz band, each containing 100MHz bandwidth, will be up for sale at Bt300 million each, while the seven remaining licences of 1,800MHz band, each containing 5MHz, will go for Bt12.486 billion each. Licences for 700MHz band, which is divided into three blocks of 5MHz each, are priced at Bt8.792 billion each.

The bid winners will be required to pay 10 per cent of the licence fee upfront in the first year and another 15 per cent annually from the fifth to the 10th year. This should give them breathing room in the second and fourth year to start the 5G business. 

NBTC will hold public hearings on the auction rules over the next two months and will invite bids in January, with the aim of granting licences by March 2020. Winners are expected to introduce the 5G service within July 2020.

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