NBTC upgrades 5G auction forecast

NBTC upgrades 5G auction forecast

Thai regulator NBTC expects the country’s upcoming spectrum auction to bring in THB64 billion ($2.1 billion) now that state-owned operators TOT and CAT are allowed to participate.

After the state players were cleared to bid by the country’s government, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission revised its forecast for next month’s auction, which previously stood at around $1.8 billion. Bidders will be able to acquire licences for 2600MHz and 26GHz spectrum.

Speaking to Bloomberg, NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith said that if three or four of the possible five participants bid on licences, it is likely that around half of the 56 available will be sold. Private operators AIS, dtac and True Move are all set to bid on spectrum, with Tantasith noting that the 2600MHz band would likely be in the highest demand.

Spectrum in the 700MHz and 1800MHz bands will also be available, although Tantasith noted that the latter may go unsold. In the country’s long-postponed 4G auctions, nine 10MHz blocks of spectrum in this band were available but only two were sold, with AIS and dtac each snapping one up for THB12.5 billion.

Of the country’s private operators, only dtac has procured bidding documents for the upcoming 5G auction. The operator may not bid in the auction depending on the results of a feasibility study that it is currently conducting.

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