Second disappointment for Thai 900MHz auction

Thailand’s upcoming 900MHz spectrum auction could be delayed by the non-participation of two leading operators.

Both AIS and Thailand’s second largest operator True Corp have sent notices to the country’s stock exchange indicating that they will skip proceedings. It is unclear whether the third major operator in the country, DTAC, will take part, although it is said to be conducting a feasibility assessment.

According to Reuters, AIS said in a statement that it took into consideration the auction’s terms and decided not to participate. True Corp did not go into detail.

The last attempt at a 900MHz auction failed when all three operators backed out, leading to the regulator, the National Broadcast and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC), abandoning the 900MHz sale scheduled for 18 August.

This time the NBTC made the concession of changing a key condition requiring winners to prevent interference with future railway projects in the band. This, however, does not seem to have convinced at least two major players that the investment would be worthwhile.

In August, AIS and DTAC both won a band on the 1800 MHz spectrum auctions for 12.5 billion baht (about $377.7 million) per licence.

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