Thailand’s 5G spectrum auction raises $3.2bn

All three of the country’s bi mobile network operators participated in the auction, but Thailand’s telecoms regulator is yet to confirm the identities of winning bidders
5G, Spectrum, 2.6GHz, Auction, Thailand, Asean

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Thailand has concluded its first 5G auction, with $3.2 billion (100 billion baht) being raised through the sale of a wide range of spectrum.

A total of 48 lots of spectrum were purchased in the 700MHz, 2.6GHz and 26GHz bands, as the country’s mobile network operators took up the opportunity to acquire the spectrum with which they will launch next generation mobile network services.

In total, the country's MNOs spent $1.65 billion (51.46 billion baht) for spectrum in the 700MHz band, $1.18 billion (37.16 billion baht) on 2.6GHz spectrum and an additional $370 million (11.57 billion baht) on mmWave spectrum in the 26GHz band, according to a report from Reuters

Advanced Info Service (AIS) through its subsidiary Advanced Wireless Network (AWN), True Move H Universal Communication (TUC) and CAT Telecom all participated in the auction, according to a report in the Bangkok Post.

Under the rules of the Thai auction, operators are only permitted to bid on a maximum of 10 licences. The country’s telecoms regulator, the NBTC, revealed that AIS won a total of 23 spectrum licences across the three bands while True Bag secured 17. 

The country expects to begin rolling out commercialised 5G mobile network services across the country in June or July of 2021.

Thailand will be among the first countries in Southeast Asia to launch 5G with most ASEAN nations yet to start their next generation mobile network rollouts.

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