Three qualify for 3G auction

Three major private mobile operators have qualified to bid in the auction of third-generation (3G) wireless licences, set for next week, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) announced on Tuesday.

The three qualified applicants are: Advanced Wireless Network, a unit of Advanced Info Service; Dtac Network; and Real Future, which is part of True Corp, Sethapong Malisuwan, NBTC chairman for telecommunications, said. There were no other applicants.

The NBTC plans to auction off the 2100 megahertz bandwidth on Oct 16, for use with 3G technology.

Former president of the Thailand Telecommunication Management Academy, Anuparp Thiralarp, has threatened to petition the Administrative Court to halt the auction until the NBTC amends its regulations to "better benefit the public in compliance with the constitution".

NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasit on Monday brushed off the threat. He said five other people have already lodged a several legal challenges to halt the auction. 

He insisted there would be no further delays to the auction, which is being held under the Frequency Allocation Act of 2010.

The NBTC will transfer tens of billions of baht from the sale of the 3G spectrum to the Finance Ministry to invest in other public services, Mr Takorn added.  

About the author

Writer: Komsan Tortermvasana
Position: Senior Business Reporter