Thaicom and National Telecom win first auction for satellite orbital slot packages

0
3896
SET-listed satellite service operator Thaicom emerged as the biggest winner, securing two of the five packages on offer, while state enterprise National Telecom (NT) obtained one package.

In a major development for Thailand’s satellite industry, the kingdom’s first auction for satellite orbital slot packages was held on Sunday (15 Jan), raising a total of 806.5 million baht. SET-listed satellite service operator Thaicom emerged as the biggest winner, securing two of the five packages on offer, while state enterprise National Telecom (NT) obtained one package.



The auction, which started at 10:00 AM and wrapped up in about one and a half hours, saw competition from Thaicom’s subsidiary, Space Tech Innovation, NT, and Prompt Technical Services, which is engaged in a very small-aperture terminal business for oil rigs. The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) offered five packages for the auction, which marks the nation’s transition from a concession system to a licensing regime.



The first package offered comprised the 50.5° East and 51° E slots, with a starting price of 374 million baht. The second package was for 78.5° E, with a starting price of 360 million baht. The third package covered the 119.5° E and 120° E slots, with a starting price of 397 million baht. The fourth package was for 126° E, with a starting price of 8.6 million baht, while the fifth package covered 142° E, with a starting price of 189 million baht. Bid prices increased by 5% in each round. No bids were made for the first and fifth packages.



The first bidding round saw Space Tech Innovation and Prompt Technical Services compete for the second package. Prompt did not bid in the second round, leaving the Thaicom subsidiary as the winner at a price of 380 million baht. The third package was also secured by Space Tech Innovation, the sole bidder, at a price of 417.4 million baht. NT was the sole bidder for the fourth package, obtaining the license for 9 million baht.


The results of the auction were announced by the NBTC shortly after bidding was concluded, and its board is due to meet on Wednesday (18 Jan) to issue a resolution to officially approve the auction results.

NBTC Commissioner Thanapant Raicharoen said the regulator was satisfied with the auction results, although the winning bids were only slightly above the reserve prices. (NNT)