Thailand to hold 4G auction in 2015
Thailand’s military government has announced that its suspended 4G auction will now be held in July 2015.
The government announced initial plans for the suspension in June this year and the country’s regulator today confirmed the new auction date of July 2015.
“The postponement is to ensure that things will go smoothly and transparently and that will help protect the public,” said a government spokesperson.
The country’s regulator had initially planned to hold an auction for a 25MHz block in the 1800MHz band in August this year, and a second auction for a 17.5MHz block in the 900MHz band later in November or December.
Telecoms accounts for a tenth of the economy in Thailand and the 4G spectrum would enable operators to benefit from increased revenue from fast-emerging data services, as well as reduced regulatory costs following a renewed licensing scheme.
Despite concerns that the country’s biggest player, Advanced Info Service (AIS), would be hard hit by the postponement, the company said in a statement that it already had back-up plans in place for such an occurrence, and the delay will allow it more time to upgrade its technology in preparation for 4G services.
The auction is expected to raise approximately 42.9 billion baht ($1.33 billion), and the sector is expected to invest at least 100 billion baht once the licences have been issued.