1800 MHz Band Auction Finally Ended at Final Price of Over Bt 80,000 Million Granting “AIS-TRUE” Licensing

Air Chief Marshal Thares Punsri, Chairman of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC Chairman), stated that the 1800 MHz band auction has finally come to end on November 12, 2015 after two days of aggressive bidding price war, reflecting high spectrum demands among telecommunications business operators in Thailand which is a positive sign for driving the country towards Thailand 4.0 where people have access to high quality telecommunications service at fair price through telecommunications network deployment as the foundation of digital economy in line with governmental policy. Most importantly, the income raised from bidding process can be added to state revenue for further national developments.

Col. Settapong Malisuwan. Ph.D., Vice Chairman of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC Vice Chairman) and Chairman of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), mentioned that 1800 MHz spectrum bidding as per NBTC Notification on the criteria and procedure for 1800 MHz spectrum licensing for telecommunications business operation which started at 10.00 AM of November 11, 2015 has finally ended at 19.05 PM of November 12, 2015, totaling 86 rounds whereas the combined bidding price for both sets of spectrum is equal to Bt 80,778 million. The details of winners for each set of spectrum are as follow:

1. First set (1710-1725 MHz and 1805-1820 MHz) – TRUEMOVE H Universal Communication Co., Ltd. won the bidding at the final price of Bt 39,792 million.

2. Second set (1725-1740 MHz and 1820-1835 MHz) – Advance Wireless Network Co., Ltd. won the bidding at the final price of Bt 40,986 million.

Non-winning bidders included JAS Mobile Broadband Co., Ltd. whose last bid took place in the first set at the final price of Bt 38,996 million and DTAC Tri Net Co., Ltd. whose last bid took place in the first set at the final price of Bt 17,504 million.

The National Telecommunications Commission therefore announced the results and the official ending of 1800 MHz spectrum auction.

Mr. Takorn Tantasith, Secretary-General of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC Secretary-General), also added that both licenses for operating telecommunications business on 1800 MHz band will be expired in 18 years. The next step for NTC is to conduct a meeting in order to officially certify the bidding results so that NBTC can make an official announcement of the bidding results within the period of 7 days, followed by issuing  licenses for telecommunications business operation on 1800 MHz band and type III license for telecommunications business operation to the bidders after having completely fulfilled the defined requirements within the period of 90 days starting from the date of receipt of bidding results notice letter.

In addition, NBTC has developed consumer protection measures for 1800 MHz band auction which is included in the terms and conditions at the back of the issued license. Under such measures, all licensees must reach 40% penetration within 4 years and 50% penetration within 8 years. Meanwhile, the pricing of 4G service must be lower than the pricing of 3G service which is currently provided on 2.1 GHz spectrum.

Furthermore, all licensees are required to provide special low-price packages for the handicapped, the underprivileged and the low-income (monthly income less than Bt 10,000) and must submit service plan to NTC prior to commencing service operation, including implementing the plan within 1 year starting from the date of service.

“The 1800 MHz band auction this year was carried out with transparency and fairness and, most importantly, based on the best interests of the Thai people and the state. It also aims to restore market balance by promoting free and fair competition within telecommunications industry,” said Mr. Takorn.

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