Monday, March 30, 2020

Stage set for the auction of spectrums for 5G tech

Feb 16. 2020
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By THE NATION

The auction of spectrum bands for 5G wireless technology begins on Sunday (February 16). The five bidders are True Move H Universal Communication Co Ltd (TUC) of True Corp, DTAC TriNet of Total Access Communication, Advanced Wireless Network (AWN) of Advanced Info Service (AIS), TOT, and CAT Telecom.

The NBTC will auction the 700MHz, 1800MHz, 2600MHz, and 26GHz spectrums.

The NBTC last week declared that TUC, AWN, DTAC TriNet and TOT will bid for the 26GHz band.

CAT, AWN and TUC will also bid for 700MHz and 2600MHz.

None of the bidders has shown interest in the 1800MHz band.

Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak last month stepped in to push for the start of 5G service, urging state and private spectrum bidders to hasten the process for the benefit of society and the economy.

Somkid said 5G could help drive the country’s competitiveness and efficiency in the industrial sector as well as attract foreign investment.

The telecom operators have already partnered with several parties to demonstrate 5G in industrial use.

The NBTC will auction three licences of the 700MHz spectrum, each containing 2x5MHz bandwidth, at a starting price of Bt8.792 billion each.

The bidders can raise the price by Bt440 million per time. The licence term is for 15 years. The total payment for the licence is divided into 10 instalments, each at 10 per cent of the winning price.

The NBTC does not cap the maximum number each contender can bid for this licence.

The watchdog will call a bid for 19 licences of the 2600MHz, each containing 10MHz bandwidth at a price of Bt1.862 billion each. They can raise the price by Bt93 million per time. The licence is good for 15 years.

Each bidder can take a maximum of 10 licences of this band. The bidders are required to pay upfront 10 per cent of the total winning price in the first year and enjoy a grace period during the second to fourth years.

They will pay 15 per cent annually of the balance in the fifth to 10th years. The winners are obliged to provide service covering 40 per cent of the Eastern Economic Corridor within one year and 50 per cent of the business zones in several major cities within four years, including Bangkok and Greater Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Nakon Ratsima, Khon Khaen, Songkhla, and Phuket.

The competition for the 2600MHz licences is expected to intensify, given the need for at least 100MHz bandwidth (10 licences) out of the available 190MHz bandwidth (19 licences) in order to enable the company to provide effective 5G service.

The NBTC will auction 27 licences of 26GHz, each containing 100MHz bandwidth at a price of Bt423 million each. They can raise the price by Bt22 million per time.

The licence is valid for 15 years. Each bidder can bid for a maximum of 12 licences. They will have to pay the price upfront.

For the 1800MHz, it will auction seven licences, each containing 2x5MHz bandwidth at a starting price of Bt12.486 billion each. They can raise the price by Bt25 million per time. The licence is good for 15 years.

The NBTC caps at four the maximum number each contender can bid for this licence. The upfront payment is divided into three instalments -- 50 per cent in the first instalment, followed by 25 per cent each in the next two instalments.

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