Thailand lines up 5G spectrum sale

Thailand lines up 5G spectrum sale

Thai regulator NBTC (National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission) is planning to auction 5G spectrum in three bands later on in the year.

The Bangkok Post reported that the regulator is planning to sell spectrum in the 26GHz, 28GHz and 2.6GHz bands, and is in the process of drawing up the auction terms. The NBTC is considering using new selection models for the winners that would factor in both the total bid amount and the proposed 5G deployment plans.

The NBTC announced its intention to sell 2.6GHz spectrum back in 2016, with auctions planned for the following year. However, the sale was delayed as state-owned public broadcaster MCOT holds much of the spectrum in this band. The operator does not currently offer services using the spectrum and is attempting to reach a payment agreement to return it to the government.

Another auction – this one of 700MHz spectrum – is lined up for May, although all three of Thailand’s biggest operators have said that they don’t plan to bid. AIS, True Move and dtac consider their current holdings adequate after spending billions of baht in auctions held during the past three years. State-owned CAT Telecom is the sole operator to have expressed an interest, and is in the process of finding a foreign partner to lodge a joint bid.

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