NBTC approves spectrum, broadcasting master plans

NBTC approves spectrum, broadcasting master plans

The board of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) approved all three master plans yesterday governing spectrum management, telecom and broadcasting.

All 10 members present _ there was one absentee _ at the meeting unanimously approved the telecom and broadcasting master plans. But the spectrum management plan only passed 6-4 in a closed session.

Among the most watched aspects of the plans are the time frames for state agencies to return their radio, television and telecom spectrums for reallocation.

The plans prescribes five, 10 and 15 years, respectively, for the three categories, the same as stated in the original draft of the spectrum management master plan.

However, at a public hearing on the plans, many industry players called for shorter periods for frequency reclamation.

They suggested three years for radio frequencies and five years for television. The time frame for the return of telecom frequencies was not finalised at the hearing.

Last week, the NBTC refused to approve the three master plans due to unclear details about the frequency reclamation.

An NBTC member who asked not to be named said members in the minority vote included Supinya Klangnarong, Prawit Leesathapornwongsa and Thawatchai Jittrapanun.

NBTC secretary Thakorn Tantasit said details of the three master plans will be released on its website by next Tuesday before being published in the Royal Gazette  in the first week of April as scheduled.

He said the period for spectrum reclamation will take effect on all existing frequencies, although previously there was not an expiration date.

But concession holders, who manage and operate telecom and broadcasting services under a concession system with state enterprises, must return their frequencies to the NBTC once their concessions expire.

Telecom operators owning licences and operating services are TOT Plc, CAT Telecom and Aeronautical Radio of Thailand. CS LoxInfo and Aces Co have applied for operating licences.

A third-generation licensing auction for the international standard 2.1-gigahertz frequency is still scheduled for September, he said.

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