Thailand regulators set 3G auction reserve price

Telecoms regulators in Thailand have finally set a reserve price for the auction of 3G mobile licences.

In a move that is seen as a crucial step for reform, the minimum price Thailand will receive from each of the nine licences will start at $142 million.

The price is based on 5MHz of bandwidth, and the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) confirming it will hold an auction in October for 2.1GHz licences.

It is thought the top three operators in Thailand; market leader Advanced info Service (owned by Singtel), Total Access Communication (owned by Telenor) and True Corp are all keen to join the auction. Present licences are due to expire in a few years.

Reuters reports Thailand’s telecoms sector is worth $6.8 billion, and the 3G licensing will go a long to reforming how operators pay fees to the government.

The auction price is still subject to approval from the NBTC board, and there will also be a public hearing in July.

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