Economy March 04, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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NBTC urged to include idle telecom bandwidth in spectrum auction

The Telecommunications Association of Thailand has asked the telecom regulator to auction a currently idle 25 megahertz of bandwidth of the 1,800MHz spectrum together with the bandwidth held by TrueMove and Digital Phone Co (DPC). The idle segment is held by Total Access Communication (DTAC).
The association recently advised the telecom committee of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission that selling off this unused segment would increase the efficiency of the country’s telecom spectra.
The now-defunct Post and Telegraph Department allocated 50MHz of bandwidth on the 1,800MHz spectrum to CAT Telecom and instructed the state agency to use only half of it. CAT later allocated 50MHz to DTAC. That firm’s concession will end in 2018.
The telecom committee plans to hold a licence auction of two segments of 12.5MHz bandwidth held by TrueMove and DPC in August. 
Their concessions expired last September. The association believes that the auction of these TrueMove-DPC bands should also include the idle 25MHz portion of DTAC’s 1,800MHz segment.
As currently planned, the telecom committee will hold a licence auction of the 900MHz spectrum of Advanced Info Service in November. AIS’s concession will end next year. Then it plans to auction the total 50MHz bandwidth of DTAC’s 1,800MHz segment in the third quarter of next year.
Intel country head retires
Intel Microelectronics (Thailand) Ltd yesterday announced the retirement of Accharas Ouysinprasert, country manager for Thailand. He has led Intel in the Kingdom since 1997.  
The company appointed Sontiya Nujeenseng as new country manager, effective yesterday. Before taking that post, he served as the director of sales and business development for Intel in Thailand.  
“We are tremendously grateful for all the work that Accharas has done for Intel in Thailand.
 He has had a long, successful and accomplished career, and we wish him well for his retirement,” said Uday Marty, managing director of Intel Southeast Asia.
 “I am confident that Sontiya will continue Accharas’ strong leadership in one of our most important and fastest-growing markets.”
Bt1.3 bn rice sales via Afet 
The Commerce Ministry sold 110,000 tonnes of rice through the Agriculture Future Exchange of Thailand last Tuesday, which is expected to bring in up to Bt1.3 billion. It had hoped to sell 230,000 tonnes.
Somchart Soithong, director-general of the department, said the selling price was quite satisfactory. The ministry will open bidding for another 200,000 tonnes of rice via the Afet this week.
He said that as the problem of drought rises, the rice price might not fall as low as previously expected, as output could be lower in the near future.
SET gains 1.05 per cent on positive political signs 
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) Index yesterday returned to a high level as the political situation showed signs of easing with the relocation of anti-government demonstrations from sites in downtown Bangkok.
The SET Index yesterday closed at 1,339.21 – up 13.88 points or 1.05 per cent – totalling Bt40.35 billion. Institutional investors were net buyers to the tune of Bt3.4 billion, while foreign investors net bought Bt1.147 billion. Meanwhile, most regional markets plunged as investors worried over the Ukraine unrest and disappointing Chinese economic figures.
A stock analyst at RHB OSK Securities (Thailand) noted that the SET is unlikely to continue its gains today, given that the political crisis has yet to be completely resolved. Trading might see a drop as investors engage in profit-taking, the analyst said.