The Thai state operator TOT currently must refrain from leasing its unused spectrum to market leader AIS, as it is concerned about the legality of doing so.
TOT president Yongyuth Wattanasin noted that the operator is hesitant to enter into a leasing deal with AIS as it wishes to “avoid any possible legal backlash in the future”.
Section 46 of the country’s Frequency Allocation Act (2010) dictates that spectrum may only be issued via auction. The unused spectrum would allow AIS to offer 4G services.
In January, the operator agreed to lease 5MHz of unused spectrum in the 2.1GHz band to AIS for one year. However, TOT’s legal team and 3G committee are now reviewing the specifics of the deal before it is put before the board.
TOT will be keen to ascertain the legality of leasing spectrum before the auctions for 1800MHz spectrum, which are scheduled for August. Yongyuth has noted that failing to land the leasing contract would be financially damaging for TOT.