[cellular news] Thailand's National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has approved the final draft of the long-winded plan to auction of 3G licenses. If approved, the auction should be able to take place this coming September.
Once the draft is published in the government's official notice, the Royal Gazette, there will be a 30 day period for companies to tender applications to take part in the auction.
The latest draft plan has raised the reserve price for the 3G licence to Bt12.8 billion (US$393 million), up from Bt10 billion in the original draft. There will be three licenses offered, and if there are any licenses unclaimed, then they will be offered up for sale again within three months.
All three licenses will be for 15-megahertz bandwidth, which will be valid for 15 years.
Winners will be expected to reach minimum coverage requirement of 50% of the population within two years, but if they are able to cover 80% of the population within two years, they can defer the final installment payment by one year.
The regulator has been trying to award 3G licenses for the past couple of years, but the political situation has made it difficult. The regulator had been short of four directors, preventing decisions from being taken, but this has been resolved after the nominees recently secured Royal endorsement.
Several of the networks are already running limited trials of WCDMA networks in the 900Mhz band, but lack of radio spectrum is hampering their deployment.
Thailand Outlines Latest Plans for 3G License Auction