DTAC gets 2nd chance for 1800MHz spectrum bid

DTAC gets 2nd chance for 1800MHz spectrum bid

The telecom regulator will give Total Access Communication (DTAC) a second chance to bid on the 1800-megahertz spectrum, rescheduling an auction before DTAC's concession expires on Sept 15 so the operator doesn't risk having its 2G network cut off.

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) will scrap the existing remedy period planned to mitigate the impact of DTAC's concession expiry, which means DTAC's 470,000 mobile users on the 1800- and 850MHz concessions will have to transfer to other networks before the concession's Sept 15 expiry date.

The attempted re-auction by the NBTC comes after DTAC refused to submit bid documents on Friday. Mobile leader Advanced Info Service (AIS) and second-ranked True Move also failed to submit bid documents, cancelling the 1800MHz auction.

The NBTC also planned to auction one licence on the 850MHz spectrum, together with the 1800MHz band.

Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the NBTC, said the measure will be submitted as an urgent agenda issue at its telecom committee meeting today, and is likely to be approved.

Monday, Mr Takorn met with three members of the NBTC board, including the NBTC chairman and the telecom committee chairman, all of whom agreed with the move.

Once approved by the telecom committee today, the NBTC board will consider the issue on June 27 for official approval.

He said the current mobile number portability (MNP) system can help 60,000 users migrate to other networks.

"The remaining 470,000 mobile users on DTAC's 1800 and 850-MHz networks will not be handled through the MNP system," said Mr Takorn.

The NBTC had previously planned to amend the existing conditions of the 1800MHz auction to create more attractive conditions for bidders. DTAC said the reserve price of each 1800-MHz licence (37.45 billion) was too high.

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