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Thailand refuses to delay 700MHz auctions

Thailand refuses to delay 700MHz auctions

Thai regulator NBTC (National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission) has shot down a proposal to reschedule its upcoming 700MHz spectrum auction from May to December.

The Bangkok Post reported an NBTC subcommittee originally put forward the proposal as the spectrum in question will not be freed for use until 2020. However, the regulator’s board dismissed the suggestion so the auctions will stick to their originally scheduled date.

Seven 5MHz blocks in the 700MHz band will be available for bidding, and the licences will be valid for 20 years. Successful bidders will need to pay a fifth of their final bid within the first year. NBTC secretary general Takorn Tantasith has reportedly met with representatives from operators in Malaysia and South Korea that are potentially interested.

However, if reserve prices are at a similar level to previous auctions, companies are likely to abstain, reported the Post. The three largest operators in Thailand spent a combined total of THB270 billion ($8.5 billion) on acquiring 3G and 4G spectrum.

Last week, second-placed True Move confirmed that it would not bid in the 700MHz auction.

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