NBTC needs plan to assist 18m Truemove, DPC customers
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) should devise a plan to prevent a combined 18 million customers of TrueMove and Digital Phone Co (DPC) from experiencing difficulty if they cannot migrate to other networks on time once the 1,800 megahertz TrueMove-DPC concession expires in September.As part of the proposal submitted for its consideration recently by the subcommittee preparing for the end of the concession, the watchdog might consider extending the period CAT Telecom will finish returning its 1,800MHz spectrum for a certain period, such as one year, after the concession ends. This will give time to CAT for customer migration to other networks.
The NBTC might also set the condition that bid winners of 1,800MHz have to take in customers of the TrueMove-DPC networks after the concession ends.
TrueMove and DPC each has about 17 million and 80,000 customers, respectively.
Once their concession ends, they and their concession owner CAT will lose the right to use the 1,800MHz spectrum, which will be returned to the NBTC for reallocation by means of an auction. Last week the watchdog sent a letter informing CAT that it must return the spectrum to the NBTC.
As part of the subcommittee proposal, CAT still has other spectra, such as the 800MHz, to serve TrueMove-DPC subscribers after the concession ends. But CAT has to provide compatible mobile device to the customers if they are migrated to other spectra.
Moreover, CAT can opt to transfer them to use the unused part of 1800MHz band it has granted to DTAC. DTAC has used only half of the total 50MHz bandwidth of the spectrum. DTAC's concession will end in 2018.
The other choice is the NBTC has assigned other operators to take care of customers left over in TrueMove-DPC networks after the concession ends. The watchdog has to examine legal aspects of all these choices before making the final decision.
The subcommittee also proposed to the NBTC telecom committee many options to auction 1,800MHz spectrum of TrueMove-DPC.
TrueMove and DPC each hold 12.5MHz spectrum bandwidth. Their spectrum bands stand either side of the 1,800MHz of DTAC.
One option is it auction only 20MHz out of 25MHz bandwidth and the amount should be divided into four slots of 5MHz each. The maximum bandwidth one can bid for is 10MHz. When NBTC auctions DTAC's spectrum after 2018, the bid winners of 1,800MHz in the first auction will be allowed to bid for only a maximum 15MHz bandwidth each, while those having no 1,800MHz at all can bid for maximum of 25MHz bandwidth each.
The other one is it auction a total 25MHz bandwidth but the bid winner will be permitted to use only 20MHz bandwidth.
Once DTAC's concession ends, the NBTC will rearrange the entire 1,800MHz range, which includes that held by DTAC, to enable the |bid winner to use full 25MHz |bandwidth capacity.
The third option is it auction a total of 25MHz bandwidth and the bid winner is allowed to use full bandwidth. Once DTAC's concession ends, the NBTC will rearrange the entire 1,800MHz range, which includes that held by DTAC, to enable the bid winner to use full 25MHz bandwidth capacity.
The other option is it auction a total of 75MHz bandwidth of 1,800MHz (combined 25MHz bandwidth from DPC-TrueMove and another 50MHz bandwidth from DTAC). Each of the bidders can bid for only maximum 25MHz bandwidth each.
After the auction, only one winner will be permitted to use DPC-TrueMove spectrum bands to start business first, while the other winners will have to wait until DTAC's concession end to use DTAC spectrum band to offer service.