World VoIP NewsThe NTC plans to auction announcedThe NTC plans to auction announced

The NTC plans to auction announced

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Thai regulator the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) plans to auction 30MHz of the country’s 40MHz unused 2.5GHz-2.69GHz spectrum to ‘small players’ to operate broadband wireless access services in remote areas where residents cannot afford internet access, with the help of funding from the regulator.
The first four ten-year licences to be auctioned will cover Thailand's provinces with the lowest gross domestic product, Natee stated, meaning that operational returns could be very low. The plans call for the NTC to ‘promote’ an initial pilot 2.5GHz wireless broadband service in four provinces, charged at THB99 (USD3) per month with a connection speed of 1Mbps (downlink), whilst for the first five years after licensing, concession winners must also cap their monthly fees at this level, with tariffs ‘supervised’ by the commission for the remaining five. 2.5GHz licence holders will also be required to provide service coverage to 25% of schools and hospitals in their provincial coverage zones in their first year, 50% in the second year, 80% in the third year and 90% in the fourth.

The NTC expects to start granting licences for 2.3GHz-2.4GHz and 2.5GHz-2.69GHz bands in September this year. Previous proposals mooted awarding licences for wireless broadband access services, including WiMAX, by February 2011. The regulator also plans to ban 2100MHz winners from bidding for 2.3GHz-2.69GHz licences, and vice versa, to prevent monopolisation of frequencies.

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