Thailand's NTC sets 3G floor price

Thailand's NTC has set the reserve price for the country's upcoming 3G auction at 3.3 to 6.6 billion baht (€67-€135 million).
 
But the auction process may be postponed until a government body determines whether the telecom regulator has the authority to auction spectrum at all.
 
The NTC plans to auction four licenses - three for 10 MHz each and one for 15 MHz – NTC chairman Choochart Promprasit told the Bangkok Post.
 
Pricing was determined based on several criteria, including the floor price of spectrum auctions in other countries and the price of spectrum during recent trades between some of the nation's operators.
 
The regulator has tentatively scheduled the auction to begin in December.
 
But both private and state parties have questioned whether the NTC has the authority to issue spectrum licenses on its own, The Nation reported
 
The NTC announced it would consult with government advisory body the Council of State to determine whether it may proceed with the auction.
 
The government is setting up a new broadcasting regulator, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC). Under telecom law, both the NTC and the NBC must jointly create a national frequency allocation table before auctions can take place.
 
The NTC asked the Council in 2006 whether it could award new spectrum licenses on its own, and was told it could proceed. But this was before the inception of the law determining the establishment of the NBC.
 
Some have also questioned the NTC's authority to work on public policy matters, in light of the fact that half of the six-member board had drawn lots to quit two years ago, but have not appointed replacements. But this has had no effect on the regulator's powers, Choochart insisted.

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