THE military yesterday defended its right to the 50-54-megahertz band for security purposes during a public hearing on the revised telecom and broadcasting spectrum master plan by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).
About 500 attended the hearing, of whom half were Air Force, Royal Thai Army, and Royal Thai Navy personnel.
A highlight of the revised plan was the reallocation of the 50-54MHz band to the military for national-security purposes. Under the original master plan, the band was designated for radio amateurs. However, the NBTC has not allowed amateurs to use the band, given continued protest from the Army.
Jakkree Hantongkom, president of the Radio Amateur Society of Thailand (RAST), said the 50-54MHz band was an international band for amateurs, adding that RAST, with 300,000 members nationwide, also needed more spectrum.
However, representatives from defence agencies said the band should be allocated to the military for national-security purposes.
Currently, RAST members use the 144-146MHz band, while the military uses 50-54MHz only in emergency cases or during drills.
The revised master plan has instead reallocated the 144-147MHz band to the amateur radio operators.
Apart from the 50-54MHz band, the military agencies asked the NBTC to allocate spectra for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAVs), also known as drones.
The NBTC will wait for further comments on the revised master plan until May 15, before submitting it for the consideration of the NBTC board. It approved, it will be published in the Royal Gazette.