NBTC favours changes to spectrum auctions

Economy January 19, 2018 01:00


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THE NATIONAL Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) will propose to its board that it consider suspending a planned auction of a 900 megahertz (MHz) licence and auction nine 1800MHz licences, instead of the originally planned three licences.

NBTC secretary general Takorn Tantasith said this week that he would propose these two major changes in the planned auctions of both spectra to the NBTC subcommittee on telecom affairs for consideration on January 25 and to the NBTC board for consideration on January 31.

He said that the proposed suspension of the auction for the 900MHz licence reflected the feedback from those who attended a recent hearing on the NBTC’s plans to auction these two spectra. Some in attendance voiced concerns over a possible jam in signals between this 900MHz band and the 900MHz band that is planned to be used for proposed high-speed train services.

For the 1800MHz auction, Takorn will propose that a total of 45MHz of the 1800MHz spectrum be divided into nine licences each containing 5MHz bandwidth for auction. 

Originally, the NBTC divided the 45MHz bandwidth of the 1800MHz spectrum into three licences each with 15MHz bandwidth.

He said that the proposed switch to nine licences was in line with the ideas of the telecom operators aired at the recent public hearing on the planned auctions of the 900MHz and 1800MHz spectra. Most of these operators suggested that the split of the 1800MHz spectrum into nine licences would enable the bidders to grab the amount of bandwidth that fit with their actual needs and reflected that the different operators had varying requirements.

The original starting price for bids on the 1800MHz spectrum with 15MHz is Bt37.457 billion per licence. 

Takorn said that the price of a 1800 MHz licence with 5 MHz should be equal to the calculation of dividing Bt37.457 billion by three, or Bt12.485 billion per licence.