April 25, 2018 / 9:20 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Thailand to auction 1800MHz spectrum on Aug 4; DTAC sceptical

(Adds comments from mobile operator DTAC)

BANGKOK, April 25 (Reuters) - Thai regulators will auction the 1800-megahertz (MHz) spectrum on Aug. 4 after several delays, a senior official said on Wednesday, but the operator that currently holds the spectrum’s licence raised concerns about the auction.

Total Access Communication Pcl (DTAC), Thailand’s third-ranked mobile operator whose concession will expire in September, said the auction would damage the industry.

The auction terms will create “artificial spectrum scarcity”, putting the industry at risk, DTAC Chief Executive Lars Norling said in a statement.

Three, 15-year 15-MHz licences under the 1800 Mhz spectrum will be up for auction, each with a reserve price of 37.5 billion baht ($1.19 billion), said Takorn Tantasith, acting Secretary-General of National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).

But DTAC favoured auctions of 5-MHz spectrum as opposed to 15-MHz and resetting reserve prices.

DTAC said it would submit a readiness plan to the NBTC ahead of the auction, to show that it is willing to bid and protect its customers.

DTAC earlier this week said it did not expect service interruption from the auction timeline.

Norway’s Telenor Group owns 43 percent of DTAC. ($1 = 31.5400 baht) (Reporting by Aukkarapon Niyomyat and Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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