Thai regulator NBTC (National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission) has been granted authority by the country’s State Council to auction off spectrum in the 850MHz and 1.8GHz bands.
It had previously been suggested by NBTC board member Prawit Leesathapornwongsa that the auction couldn’t take place until a new board had been appointed, which will not happen until later in the year. The current acting board will not be able to make policy decisions from the end of this month, as its six year term expired in October 2017.
The NBTC board gave the go-ahead to the original plan for the auctions, but despite this draft passing a public hearing in December 2017, it was shelved in favour of a revised plan which has still not received approval from the acting board since some members disagree with the proposals to increase the number of available slots in the 1.8GHz band from three to nine in order to make the auction more competitive.
The State Council, which advises on legislation under the direction of the prime minister, has proposed that the board discuss the amended auction terms at a meeting on 11th April. The possible delay to the auctions would be a blow to third-placed operator dtac, as it holds concessions for 2G services with state-owned CAT that are due to expire in September.