Telecom panel to reclaim spectra

Economy March 31, 2014 00:00


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THE national telecom committee will set up a subcommittee to seek ways to reclaim the 2.3- and 2.5-gigahertz spectra for reallocation by means of auction, committee chairman Settapong Malisuwan has said.

This is a continuation of efforts by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission’s telecom committee to reclaim precious spectra for reallocation. 
Settapong said that if the reclaim is successful, the telecom committee would call bids for the 2.5-2.6GHz band in 2016, and for 2.3GHz later.
The Public Relations Department holds 24 megahertz of bandwidth on the 2.5-2.6GHz band, while MCOT holds 72MHz. However, the PRD does not use this band any more to provide broadcasting service, while the concession on this band that MCOT granted to TrueVisions will expire in September.
TOT holds a huge chunk of bandwidth, 63MHz, on the 2.3GHz spectrum, while smaller blocks are with CAT Telecom and some national-security agencies.
Settapong acknowledged that it would be difficult to reclaim this band from TOT, which says it still utilises this spectrum to provide telecom service. He said the NBTC had found that TOT’s right to use this spectrum had expired.
TOT previously informed the telecom committee of a plan to use the spectrum for fourth-generation wireless broadband service, but the project was cancelled.
The telecom committee plans to auction the part of the 1,800MHz spectrum held by TrueMove and Digital Phone Co in August, the 900MHz spectrum block held by Advanced Info Service in November, and the 1,800MHz block held by Total Access Communication (DTAC) next year.