3G auction sailed through smoothly


BANGKOK, Oct 16 – The auction of 3G licenses was completed today with an average bid of Bt4.5 billion while the highest bid was Bt4.95 billion.

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) initially set a minimum bid of Bt4.5 billion per five MHz which represents 70 per cent of the total value of the 3G spectrum as evaluated by an ad hoc committee from the Faculty of Economics at Chulalongkorn University.

The committee estimated Bt6.44 billion per five MHz while today’s average bid was Bt4.625 billion per five MHz.

NBTC deputy president Settapong Malisuwan said the list of bid winners will be officially announced in three days and operators must expand 3G coverage by 50 per cent of the country’s total area in two years and 80 per cent in four years.

The service should be launched in major cities within three months or six months at the most after a license is issued, probably in March-April, he said, adding that the telecommunications service fee should be cheaper.

If not, the NBTC will impose measures to protect consumers, he said.