Jump to content
BANGKOK 25 April 2019 22:52
snoop1130

Thai mobile operators get more time for billion-dollar spectrum payment

Recommended Posts

Thai mobile operators get more time for billion-dollar spectrum payment

 

ddg.JPG

Women use their mobile phones while waiting for a bus at rush hour in Bangkok, Thailand October 4, 2018. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

 

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand on Thursday extended mobile network operators’ payment period for spectrum licenses in an attempt to boost participation in an upcoming 5G auction.

 

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha invoked Article 44 of the constitution on Thursday. It is an executive order that allows the junta to push through policy, citing intense competition affecting operators’ ability to pay for 900-megahertz (Mhz) license, and therefore, was necessary to amend the payment period.

 

The order would benefit telco operators such as Advanced Info Service Pcl (AIS), True Corp and Total Access Communication Pcl, which is owned by Norway’s Telenor.

 

The changes in the payment period could help draw future bids for the 700 Mhz and 2600 Mhz auctions and pave way for 5G technology, the statement said.

 

The 5G technology, which can provide data speeds at least 20 times faster than 4G, is seen as essential for emerging technologies from self-driving cars and smart cities to augmented reality and artificial intelligence.

 

The spectrum regulator, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC), previously said it plans to hold a 700-Mhz spectrum auction in December.

 

“Details of the payment extension will be available on April 17,” NBTC Secretary-General Takorn Tantasith told reporters.

 

Operators may notify the NBTC within 30 days, and have payments be divided into 10 equal installments over 10 years beginning 2020, the statement said.

 

In November, Total Access won one spectrum license for 38 billion baht ($1.20 billion).

 

True Corp and AIS, 23 percent owned by SingTel, won their licenses in 2016 for about $2 billion each and have since made partial payments.

 

reuters_logo.jpg

-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-04-11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Telcos and digital TV operators get reprieve

By Sirivish Toomgum 
The Nation 

 

e96393ddf65927e0612f180834934fe0.jpeg

 

Govt offers longer period to pay licence fees; ailing TV channels allowed an exit option

 

THE NATIONAL Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) yesterday announced measures to ease the financial burdens of the telecom and digital TV broadcast sectors.

 

The measures offer telecom operators a longer time to pay their 900MHz licence fees while digital TV broadcasters will have the option to return their licences to the broadcast watchdog.

 

The junta invoked its special powers under the interim charter’s Article 44 to launch the measures, which were published in the Royal Gazette yesterday. The measures went into effect immediately. 

 

True Corp shares surged 0.96 per cent yesterday to close at Bt5.25, while Advanced Info Service (AIS) dropped 0.26 per cent to close at Bt190.50. Total Access Communication (DTAC) shares dropped 4.07 per cent to close at Bt53.

 

The junta said that the measures were aimed at helping ailing digital TV broadcasters survive the unfavourable business environment and encourage telecom operators to take part in the planned auction of 700MHz licence lots and 2600MHz licence lots, which are keys to develop the 5G service in Thailand.

 

Under the new measures, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) will split the total upfront licence fee for the 900MHz spectrum of the three licence holders into 10 instalments, giving them more time for payments from the current four instalments.

 

Licence holders opting for the new conditions must inform the NBTC within 30 days.

 

The total licence fee will be divided into 10 equal instalments. The first instalment payment under this measure will be the day they were awarded the 900MHz licences.

 

The relief measures, however, include a condition that makes it mandatory for them to take part in the planned 700MHz spectrum auction, which is expected to be held in June this year.

 

They would lose the extended payment facility if they do not take part in the auction and would have to pay as per the previous payment schedule.

 

In 2017, AIS and True made separate requests to the junta seeking ways to allow them to extend the payment period of the final instalments for their 900MHz spectrum licences.

 

Their request drew strong criticism and the government and regulator were urged not to concede, as it was argued that any easing of payments would benefit only the operators, not the country.

 

AIS’ subsidiary Advanced Wireless Network (AWN) and True’s subsidiary TrueMove H Universal Communication (TUC) are scheduled to pay hefty final instalments of Bt59.574 billion and Bt60.218 billion, respectively, for their 900MHz licences in 2020.

 

DTAC will pay its final instalment for the 900MHz of Bt30.024 billion in 2022.

 

TUC and AWN won the 900MHz licences in 2015 and 2016, respectively while DTAC won the licence last year.

 

NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith said that he was confident the 900MHz licence holders would take part in the 700MHz spectrum auction totalling 45MHz bandwidth. The NBTC is expected to split this total amount into licences of 5MHz.

 

The NBTC is expected to finalise the 700MHz starting bid price this month. Takorn had said earlier that the starting price of the 700MHz was expected to be Bt7 billion per 5MHz.

 

The new junta measure also allows digital TV licence holders who want to exit their business to inform the NBTC within 30 days about their intention to return their licences.

 

Takorn expects three to four channel operators to return their licences.

 

The NBTC will also ask the digital TV broadcasters to migrate to another spectrum band from the current 700MHz band that they have used to provide service.

 

The NBTC will compensate them by waiving their remaining upfront payments for the fifth and sixth instalments.

 

Of the total amount of the upfront digital TV licence fee, 60 per cent – or around Bt34 billion – has already been paid. The remaining value of the fifth and sixth instalments is over Bt13 billion, Takorn added.

 

Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) president Somkiat Tangkitvanich said the government decision to exercise its special power to favour telecommunication operators was irresponsible and not in the national interest. The measure is equivalent to giving away Bt24 billion in revenue to big corporates, he said in his Facebook post yesterday. It is also not appropriate for the government to make such an important decision after the election, he added. 

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/business/30367574

 

thenation_logo.jpg

-- © Copyright The Nation 2019-04-12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

The government simply helping their golf club mates yet again....

Overbidding by telecoms for these licences...almost appears to have been designed....like they probably had some mail that the government would bail them out when needed......but surely that couldn't be the case?

 

Edited by ChrisY1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, ChrisY1 said:

The government simply helping their golf club mates yet again....

Overbidding by telecoms for these licences...almost appears to have been designed....like they probably had some mail that the government would bail them out when needed......but surely that couldn't be the case?

 

no .... couldn't be. That would never happen in the west ..... would it :whistling:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...