Thailand prepares for 5G with spectrum auction as user expectations grow

Thailand prepares for 5G with spectrum auction as user expectations grow

The Thai telecom regulator is to auction 380MHz of bandwidth for four telecoms frequencies by the end of 2010.

The plan, unveiled in Bangkok last week, is that 180MHz of downlink and uplink bandwidth on the 2600MHz spectrum will be auctioned by 2017; 90MHz on the 1800MHz spectrum and 20MHz on the 850MHz spectrum by the end of March 2018; and 90MHz on the 700MHz. Up to 420MHz of downlink and uplink bandwidth from various spectra have so far been allocated for telecom service uses.

Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), said at a 5G event hosted by Ericcson in Bangkok, that the auction is to accommodate rapid, growing demand for online services and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Tantasith said the existing amount of spectra in the industry is not sufficient to keep pace with the rapid developments in service innovation in the digital age and the widespread deployment of 5G wireless broadband technology.

It is expected that the 5G bandwidth will be launched commercially in the global market by 2020. "The development of the digital ecosystem in Thailand requires us to build out core digital infrastructure to provide service innovations," said Tantasith at the Ericsson event.

The auctions will provide a total of 800 MHz of downlink and uplink bandwidth for telecom service uses, exceeding the 700MHz level recommended by the International Telecommunication Union, Takorn said. 

5G technology will not only bolster the growth of mobile broadband and video streaming demands, it could also be a cost-effective alternative to fixed-line services, said Ericsson at the event. It has found that consumers fully expect to see innovative services stemming from a 5G system. They include broadband and media everywhere, interactions between humans and machines or IoT, new sensor networks, smart vehicles and transport, and critical control of remote devices.

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