NBTC Lowers 1800MHz Reserve Prices After Operators Shun Auctions

NBTC Lowers 1800MHz Reserve Prices After Operators Shun Auctions

Thai regulator NBTC (National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission) has updated the terms for its August spectrum auctions after they were initially dismissed by the country’s operators.

AIS, dtac and True Move all stated that they would not bid in the upcoming 1800MHz auction due to terms that, in the words of dtac CEO Lars Norling, “did not allow for long-term value creation for our customers and shareholders.”

NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith said: “The conditions are now changed to become tighter, to be more appropriate for the situation and allow for maximum bidding competition.” Previously, the regulator was targeting $3.5 billion from the 1800MHz auction – it has revised this figure upwards to $4.56 billion.

Under the NBTC’s new plan, nine 5MHz blocks of 1800MHz spectrum will made available on 19th August for a lower reserve price of 12.49 billion baht ($379.17 million) each. A day earlier, a single block of 900MHz spectrum will be auctioned with a reserve price of 37.99 billion baht.

Norling noted that “DTAC is in dialogue with NBTC regarding the announced auction of the low-band 900 MHz spectrum.” The third-placed operator holds concessions on both 850MHz and 1800MHz spectrum from state operator CAT which will expire in September. Its shares went up by almost 6% when it confirmed its bid for the 900MHz block.

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