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NBTC to go ahead with planned auction of 1800 MHz spectrum

Written by Thailand News

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) will ask its board at a meeting on April 11 to consider a plan to stage an auction of 1800 MHz spectrum.

NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith said Monday (April 2) that the Council of State had already ruled that the acting board was empowered to stage the auction and hence, the NBTC had to submit the auction plan to the acting board for consideration although the final say would rest with the new board which is yet to be selected by the National Legislative Assembly.

He explained that if the NBTC waited until there is a new board before taking any step now to push ahead with the planned auction for consideration by the incumbent board, the NBTC might risk being blamed for dereliction of duty and might face the charge of malfeasance in office in accordance with Article 157 of the Criminal Court.

Mr Takorn said that the old auction rules which had gone with public hearings would be applied in the new auction to be staged, but JAS Mobile Broadband would not be allowed to join the bid as its participation may discourage the other companies from joining the auction.

JAS Mobile Broadband won the last auction of 1800 MHz airwave frequency with its overblown bid of about 75 billion baht. The company defaulted the first payment of the license and the license was revoked and its bank guarantee of about 600 million baht was seized by NBTC.

Mr Takorn said that three licenses of 1800 MHz spectrum with 15 MHz for each license will be open for auction.

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