The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) yesterday approved the recall of the 2600MHz band for reallocation through an auction.
NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith said the watchdog would recall a total of 190MHz of the band, which is aimed at providing 5G wireless broadband service.
Of the total, 154MHz will be recalled from broadcaster MCOT while a combined 12MHz will be from the Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters and the Royal Thai Army.
The NBTC has already taken back 24MHz of spectrum from the Public Relations Department.
The NBTC board yesterday decided that the validity of the 2600MHz spectrum for these agencies will end within 45 days of the watchdog sending letters to them to hand over the spectrum. The watchdog is expected to send the letters by Friday.
The NBTC has allowed them to hand the spectrum back to the Commission within 120 days of receiving the letter, so that they will have time to remove the related spectrum equipment.
Takorn added that these agencies have the right to decline to hand over the 2600MHz spectrum.
If things go as planned, the NBTC is expected to finish the price evaluation of the 2600MHz band within July and call bids for this band in August.
The NBTC board has also approved spending Bt7.5 million to hire three institutes to evaluate the spectrum price for the auction. They will also evaluate compensation the watchdog will pay to these state agencies after handing over their spectrum to NBTC.
Takorn said the NBTC has already proposed such deals to the Faculty of Economics of both Chiang Mai University and Chulalongkorn University and the Thailand Development Research Institute.
The NBTC board endorsed the draft regulations of the regulatory sandbox, aiming to facilitate 5G wireless technology trials by any interested parties.
Under the regulations, those who are allowed to conduct the trials in locations designated by the NBTC, will not be subject to some related normal regulations and requirements.
The board approved in principle a Bt68-million budget for Chulalongkorn University to set up a 5G demonstration centre in Chulalongkorn University and the rollout of the 5G network for testing in the campus and Siam Square area.
This funding follows NBTC’s recent signing of a memorandum of understanding with Chulalongkorn University to collaborate on a 5G wireless broadband technology-testing centre at the university.