NBTC may scrap 26GHz bidding

NBTC may scrap 26GHz bidding

Thailand's telecom regulator is considering shelving February's planned auction of 26GHz spectrum meant for the 5G network. (Bangkok Post photo)
Thailand's telecom regulator is considering shelving February's planned auction of 26GHz spectrum meant for the 5G network. (Bangkok Post photo)

STOCKHOLM: Thailand's telecom regulator is considering shelving February's planned auction of 26GHz spectrum meant for the 5G network on concerns about use case development and support of related equipment.

The news came after members of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) met officials of the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) in Stockholm on Tuesday.

PTS's management opined that the 26GHz spectrum meant for the 5G network still has undeveloped use cases and unclear support of related terminal equipment.

In contrast, the 2600MHz range has handset support and has been used commercially for 5G service in China, according to PTS.

“The 26-28GHz range is likely to be suspended for auction,” said NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith. “But the NBTC will gauge public feedback from its website from Nov 13 to Dec 23 and have a grand public hearing on Dec 3.”

Mr Takorn said some mobile operators have indicated that they might not be interested in bidding on the range.

The NBTC board on Monday approved holding auctions for four spectrum ranges meant for 5G on Feb 16. The four ranges are 700MHz, 1800MHz, 2600MHz and 26GHz.

Mr Takorn insisted that the NBTC must press ahead with the February auctions to ensure Thailand’s competitiveness and support the goal of becoming an innovation hub in the region.

Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam plan to launch 5G service in 2020, he noted.

“We cannot prolong the auction,” Mr Takorn said.


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