Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has approved the participation of three operators in the next spectrum auction to be held on 16 February. Thai operator True Move H Universal Communication (TUC) has been selected as a qualified bidder for the 700 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2600 MHz and 26 GHz spectrum auction. Dtac TriNet is a qualified bidder for a 26 GHz spectrum license, and Advanced Wireless Network (AWN), a subsidiary of Advanced Info Service (AIS), is a qualified bidder for the auction of 700 MHz, 2600 MHz and 26 GHz spectrum.
The state-owned operators TOT and CAT Telecom also showed up on 4 February at the NBTC office to submit 5G bid documents. According to the Bangkok Post, TOT qualified for bidding on the 26 GHz band, and CAT was authorised to bid for 700 MHz and 2600 MHz licences. None of the operators applied for the 1800 MHz.
The auction is planned to be held 16 February. NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith earlier announced that these licenses will be granted to auction winners at end-February, and network deployment can start in March. He expects the auction could raise over THB 70 billion, while 5G investment could reach THB 130 billion this year and THB 200 billion in 2021.
Thailand expects the first 5G services to launch in June or July this year. A source in the telecom industry told the Bangkok Post that AIS and TUC are ready to launch 5G marketing campaigns at Siam Paragon and Siam Square as soon as a week after the auction, in order to boost public perception of their brands’ 5G services.