NBTC submits written details of three telecom projects to junta

Economy June 25, 2014 00:00

By Usanee Mongkolporn

The Nati

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The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission has submitted to the military's ruling National Council for Peace and Order the details of three planned telecom projects, including the auctions of licences for the 1,800- and 900-megahertz spec

NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith said the commission had sent a written explanation to the NCPO on Monday of the details of each project.

Besides the two spectrum auctions, the third project is a plan to spend Bt20 billion on basic telecom infrastructure nationwide under the NBTC’s universal service obligation (USO) rules.

"The NBTC expects that around Bt100 million in new investment will result from the auctions, apart from the licence fees themselves of at least Bt41 billion," he said.

According to the NBTC, the starting price for bids on two licences for the 1,800MHz spectrum has been set at Bt11.6 billion each, while that for 10MHz of the 900MHz spectrum is Bt11.26 billion and Bt8.445 million for the 7.5MHz licence on the 900MHz spectrum. That means a minimum total bid of Bt41.625 million for the four licences.

Earlier, the NBTC had planned to meet with General Prayuth Chan-ocha, the leader of the NCPO, but decided to explain the details in writing instead.

Takorn said the NBTC expected the NCPO to respond with more suggestions for the three projects soon.

The 1,800MHz auction is set for August and the 900MHz auction for November.

Recently Prayuth ordered the watchdog to put all three of these projects on hold, plus a fourth one – the Bt1,000 vouchers towards the purchase of digital TV receivers – until the NCPO had scrutinised them to ensure transparency.

The junta has already given the NBTC the green light to proceed with the voucher giveaway after the commission last Friday clarified the plan with the NCPO committee tasked with following up on and inspecting state spending.

The NBTC board today will consider the voucher plan, which still awaits the public-hearing process.