Thailand Finally Auctions off 3G Licenses - Raises $1.4 Billion
Published on: 17th Oct 2012
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
By: Ian Mansfield
Thailand's mobile networks have paid THB 41.6 billion (USD1.4 billion) for 3G licenses following a long delayed auction held by the telecoms regulator.
The regulator, the NBTC sold nine blocks of spectrum to the country's three private mobile networks.
Takorn Tantasit, secretary-general of NBTC described the latest auction as "a historic day".
The auction has been beset by legal problems which resulted in the previous regulator being disbanded and a replacement formed to get around one legal hurdle. There have also been complaints recently that the reserve price being set was too low.
The lack of competition in the auction, with just the three incumbents bidding also meant that six blocks of spectrum sold for their reserve price of TBH4.5 billon per block, with the remaining three blocks raising slightly higher than the reserve price.
Each of the three bidders was limited to buying three blocks of spectrum each, leaving competition between them to which chunks of radio spectrum were more desirable for network planning.
AIS bid THB 14.63 billion, giving it first choice of available radio spectrum, while Dtac and True Corp both offered THB 13.5 billion.