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NBTC panel to finalise details of next auction

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission might choose to auction two 12.5-megahertz blocks of the 1,800MHz spectrum when it puts it up for sale, an NBTC source said. For the 900MHz, it is also expected to auction four 5MHz blocks of bandwidth.

The subcommittee planning the 1,800MHz auction is due today to consider the details of the sale. As for the 900MHz auction, it is expected to finalise the sale of a total of 20MHz bandwidth, split into 5MHz blocks.

The panel will consider these details based on the proposals of NBTC's auction plan adviser, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), plus those of an NBTC working group. It will submit its conclusions to the telecom committee later and then to the NBTC board.

The ITU has proposed a "clock auction" and "assignment stages" as the model for both the 1,800MHz and 900MHz sales, a change from the last NBTC auction - the 2.1-gigahertz spectrum two years ago.

A clock auction, also known as a Dutch auction, begins with a high asking price that is lowered until some participant is willing to accept it, or the reserve price is reached.

According to the NBTC source, an ITU study suggested that the reserve price on spectrum valuation should be around Bt7 per capita for 1,800MHz and double that for 900MHz. Thailand's population is around 67 million. That price is close to that for the 2.1GHz spectrum, which the NBTC set at Bt4.5 billion for each 5MHz block.


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