17 November 2023
Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) Office is working on a spectrum management roadmap that could see auctions for the 3500MHz band in 2026.
The roadmap includes the 850MHz, 2100MHz, 2300MHz and 3500MHz bands, The NBTC holds 400MHz of bandwidth in the 3500MHz band, while the other three bands are currently held by state-owned National Telecom (NT). NT will give up those bands after its licences for them expire in 2025. In September, NT sold its 700MHz spectrum license to AIS for around US$419 million.
In September, Ericsson Thailand head Igor Maurell urged the NBTC to auction the 3500MHz band sooner, ideally by 2025, to boost Thailand’s competitiveness in 5G. Failing that, it should allocate the 2300MHz band for the same purpose in 2025 after NT surrenders it.
The 3500MHz band is one of the more coveted mid-range 5G bands. The NBTC allocated the 700MHz, 2600MHz, and 26GHz bands for 5G in early 2020.