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More spectra to be auctioned

The Telecom Committee plans to hold the auction for the first two 1800MHz spectrum licences in August and one 900MHz spectrum licence in November.

The other 1800MHz licences, whose number has yet to be determined, would be open for bidding in the third quarter next year, the 1800MHz spectrum auction committee also recommended to the Telecom Committee for consideration at its meeting yesterday.

Settapong Malisuwan, chairman of the Telecom Committee, said the first 1800Mz licences would be valid for 19 years, while the 900MHz licence and other 1800MHZ licences would be good for 15 years. The first auction will be for the 1800MHz bands of TrueMove and Digital Phone Co (DPC), each 12.5MHz wide.

TrueMove and DPC's concessions from CAT Telecom expired last September but the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has permitted them to continue serving customers for one more year pending the complete migration of subscribers to other networks.

The 900MHz concession of Advanced Info Service (AIS) from TOT will expire next year. The NBTC plans to auction this 17.5MHz band in November before auctioning the 50MHz band from the 1800MHz spectrum of Dtac sometime next year. Dtac's concession from CAT expires in 2018. The Telecom Committee has to stagger the auctions instead of holding them all at the same time because if there was only one auction and if that auction ran into legal challenges, these spectra would face uncertainty at the same time, he added.


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