By Sirivish Toomgum
Five bidders took part in the much-awaited multiband auction, which is expected to give the country’s march towards 5G technology a big push. Advanced Wireless Network (AWN) of Advanced Info Service (AIS), dtac TriNet of Total Access Communication, TrueMove H Universal Communication (TUC) of True Corp, CAT Telecom, and TOT were in the fray for the licences.
AWN secured the most licences. It offered more than Bt17.154 billion to win one 700MHz licence, more than Bt19.56 billion to win 10 licences in the 2600MHz spectrum and Bt5.345 billion to win 12 licences of 26GHz.
AWN already has 2x10MHz bandwidth of the 700MHz. Clinching an additional 2x5MHz of 700MHz would mean it will have a total of 2x15MHz of the band.
CAT proposed Bt34.306 billion to clinch two 700MHz licences.
TUC offered Bt17.873 billion to win nine licences of 2600MHz and Bt3.577 billion to win eight licences of 26GHz.
TOT offered Bt1.795 billion to grab four licences of 26GHz.
Dtac Trinet offered more than Bt910 million to win two licences of 26GHz.
The NBTC started the auction early in the morning with three 700MHz licences, totalling 2x5MHz bandwidth each. All the licences were grabbed before noon after less than three hours of bidding.
This was followed by the auction of 19 licences of the 2600MHz spectrum, totalling 10MHz. All licences were grabbed.
Then it auctioned 27 licences of the 26GHz spectrum, totalling 100MHz each. Twenty-six licences were grabbed.
Overall, the auction of all the licences took five hours.
Only CAT, TUC and AWN bid for the both the 700MHz and 2600MHz bands, while all, except CAT, bid for the 26GHz band.
NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith said the NBTC board will approve the bid results on February 19. The winning bidders can obtain the licences after that.
The watchdog is expecting the licence-holders to offer 5G service on these bands.
The NBTC had originally intended to auction four spectrums, including 1800MHZ licences. However, none of the bidders showed interest in the 1800MHz bandwidth. Therefore, the NBTC auctioned off only three bands today.