NBTC seeks B53bn from sale of 5G licences

NBTC seeks B53bn from sale of 5G licences

A chart presented by the NBTC shows how 5G has an impact on the economy. (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)
A chart presented by the NBTC shows how 5G has an impact on the economy. (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)

The National Broadcasting & Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) plans to sell three 700 megahertz spectrum licences for a total of about 53 billion baht as part of an effort to develop fifth-generation wireless services.

The sale at a fixed price of 17.6 billion baht each will take place on June 19, Takorn Tantasith, the secretary general of the NBTC, said at a briefing Tuesday in Bangkok. The goal is for each of the top operators to buy a permit, he said.

Thailand’s military government has offered to delay about 150 billion baht of payments due from next year for 900 megahertz licences if operators take part in the 700 megahertz sale. Mr Takorn said while some people may view the price for the latter as high, the regulator had to use previous auctions as a guide.

The nation’s top three providers of wireless services, Advanced Info Service Plc, True Corp and Total Access Communication Plc, have filed for payment extensions but are seeking more clarity on the 700 megahertz sale.

Carriers have long been struggling under the weight of spectrum costs and a fight for market share. Their shares declined in the past five years even as the overall stock market climbed.

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