Thailand’s state owned telco TOT Corporation has asked the regulator for 15 years to run LTE on 64-MHz of its 2.3-GHz spectrum.
TOT Chairman, Panthep Jamrusromran, announced the plan after a board meeting and said that he was already in negotiations with the regulator, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission. He said that the 7 year or 12 year time frame mooted by the NBTC would not allow for stability in an MVNO agreement with the private sector and would turn away potential partners due to the short timeframe.
Jamrusromran is proposing a swap whereby TOT relinquishes 34-MHz of its 2.3-GHz spectrum immediately, in exchange for a 15 year license on the remaining 64-MHz it holds. The plan is for TOT to roll out 4G LTE on 2.3-GHz band alongside its 2.1-GHz 3G expansion.
Thailand’s new Frequency Allocation Act of 2010 empowers the regulator to set an arbitrary date for spectrum that is not under concession, and thereby treat it as if it were under a concession before refarming under license.
TOT’s board sacked its chief executive in January, leaving the politically-appointed board directly in charge of day to day operations. The previous board stepped down in September 2011, just after a new ICT Minister was appointed following the election victory by Shinawatra’s Phue Thai party.