World VoIP News30 August confirmed as 2100MHz bid date30 August confirmed as 2100MHz bid date

30 August confirmed as 2100MHz bid date

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Thai regulator the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has published a ‘final’ date of 30 August 2010 for kicking off the country’s much-delayed auction of 2100MHz 3G mobile licences, reports Telecomasia.
The NTC’s third ‘3G Information Memorandum’ states that a maximum of three 15-year licences including 2x15MHz of spectrum apiece will be bid on with a reserve price of THB10 billion (USD307 million) per concession. The watchdog has scheduled 25 June as the only day for public consultation on the sale, with a final Memorandum set to published in the Royal Gazette on 1 July. Bidding is to start on 30 August and licences are due to be issued in September. Winners will be liable for an annual licence fee of 2% of revenues and a Universal Service Obligation of 4%, and must commit to cover 50% of the population with a 3G network within two years of licensing. Under the Memorandum, 3G licensees must reserve 40% of network capacity for mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). Last month the regulator said that it would not limit the technologies utilised under the 2100MHz concessions to 3G/3.5G but would allow the rollout of so-called ‘4G’ platforms such as Long Term Evolution (LTE), which it referred to as ‘3.9G’.

Alongside its 2100MHz announcement, the NTC approved in principle a plan to reallocate unused wireless broadband spectrum in the 2.3GHz-2.4GHz and 2.5GHz-2.69GHz bands, suitable for 4G services such as mobile WiMAX and LTE, with a focus on covering rural or underserved areas. Thai newspaper The Nation quotes commission member Natee Sukonrat as saying that a new spectrum cap of up to 30MHz of 2.3GHz frequencies for each telecoms operator will be enforced. The NTC proposes to offer 2.3GHz-2.4GHz concessions for nationwide services with ten-year durations; existing allocations in this band have no expiration date, whilst state-owned TOT will be required to jettison more than half of its 64MHz of bandwidth in the range for redistribution to rivals. TOT’s sister company CAT Telecom holds 8MHz of 2.3GHz-2.4GHz spectrum, with other blocks totalling 28MHz in the hands of other government-owned entities. Last year the NTC urged TOT to return part of its spectrum, as it wanted to reallocate 2.3GHz spectrum for the promotion of WiMAX-based services, but TOT declined, according to The Nation.

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