Tuesday 18 February 2020

Thailand gets 5G Spectrum but no demand for 1800 MHz and 3.5 GHz coming in 2021

Over the weekend, Thailand’s 5G Spectrum auction concluded and th telecoms regulator raised over 100 billion baht ($3.2 billion) in 5G spectrum auctions, with operators snapping up 48 licenses ahead of an expected commercial roll out later this year. More information can be found on NBTC website here.

The current spectrum holdings for the operators looks as follows:
Source: Twitter

The above chart includes the spectrum won by the operators on Sunday. The spectrum allocated during the auction is as follows:

No operator bid for the 1800 MHz spectrum due to its inflated price

Today, the Bangkok post reported that:

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has signalled the 3500-megahertz range is unlikely to be auctioned for the 5G network this year, a move that could affect Total Access Communication (DTAC), which holds less spectrum bandwidth than bigger rivals.

Referring to talks with Digital Economy and Society (DES) Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta on Sunday, NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith said the minister believes the planned auction for the 3500MHz range may not have to be sped up.

He said Advanced Info Service (AIS), through its subsidiary Advanced Wireless Network (AWN), won 100MHz of bandwidth on the 2600MHz range on Sunday's 5G licence auction, while True Move H Universal Communication (TUC) won 90MHz of bandwidth on the range and this "could be enough for both of them to develop their 5G adoption".

Mr Takorn said both he and Mr Buddhipongse believe mobile operators have already shouldered a substantial financial burden for 4G and 5G licensing, which has dampened their desire to gain additional spectrum ranges.

He said 5G use cases also need time for real commercial development for vertical industries.

The operators TOT and CAT Telecom are merging to form a new company called National Telecom (NT) that will be 100% owned by the Finance Ministry.

Finally, here are the technical details of the 5G Spectrum that was auctioned.

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