NBTC confident of 3 bidders for auction

NBTC confident of 3 bidders for auction

Korkit Danchaivichit, deputy secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), reaffirmed Thailand's three largest mobile operators Advanced Info Service (AIS), True Move, and Total Access Communication (DTAC) will join the bidding for 1800-megahertz spectrum licences.

A banner promotes the NBTC's 1800MHz spectrum auction in 2016. Pornprom Satrabhaya

"The no-show of the three mobile operators will not happen, no matter what," he said.

Though True Move announced it would not join the bidding two weeks ago, Mr Korkit still believes the company will submit bid documents and join the auction because otherwise it will lose a business opportunity.

True Move previously said it has sufficient frequencies in its portfolio to support customers.

"I strongly believe the big three mobile operators will enjoy the bidding session because DTAC will be the only operator that can continue operating on the existing 1800MHz band according to NBTC's Frequency Allocation Act. The other two companies will lose opportunities to use frequency to further their business," he said.

Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the NBTC, said the auction will be attractive for bidders.

Each licence for the 1800MHz band has a reserve price of 37.45 billion baht (for 30MHz of bandwidth) and a lifetime of 15 years.

There is 90MHz of bandwidth available on the spectrum, which will be divided into three slots, each 30MHz.

All bidders must deposit 1.87 billion baht (5% of the reserve price) as a bid guarantee for the auction on June 15, plus 5.61 billion as a fine if the bidder defaults on its licence payment.

All bidders must submit bid documents at the NBTC office by June 15 and a letter of intent to pay 5.61 billion baht as surety in case a bidder defaults on a licence payment.

The NBTC will then consider the qualifications of bidders between June 16 and July 31, and announce those who qualified by Aug 2.

The regulator will host a question and answer session and simulate the auction process for qualified bidders from Aug 1 to 3. The auction date is scheduled for Aug 4.

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