Firms can now bid for Thailand WiMAX spectrums

Thailand telecom operators can now apply for licenses to provide wireless broadband Internet access via WiMAX, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) was quoted by The Nation as saying.

NTC commissioner Sethaporn Cusripituck said telecom companies could provide WiMAX wireless broadband Internet on the 2.5GHz and 3.5GHz spectrum bands.

The 5GHz spectrum, which was commonly used for WiMAX in other countries, would not be made available at this stage, the official said.

The 2.5GHz and 3.5GHz spectrums had already been allocated for WiMAX use by the Frequency Allocation Panel, which was dissolved after the NTC was established, the report said.

Shin Satellite, True, and TOT stand to be the first telecom operators to develop WiMAX as they already own the available spectrums and have used them for their existing businesses.

ShinSat owns the 3.5GHz spectrum; True's pay TV operator, UBC True, owns the 2.5GHz spectrum; and TOT owns the 2.4GHz spectrum, which falls within the range of the spectrums to be made available.

Sethaporn said telecom operators that did not yet own a spectrum allocation could still apply for a WiMAX license so long as sufficient WiMAX spectrum bands were available.

He said offering WiMAX licenses was in line with the Council of State's ruling that the NTC could pursue spectrum management activities in the absence of the National Broadcasting Commission as long as the activities did not relate to broadcasting spectrums, according to the report.