Thailand could hold 3G auction by year-end

Thailand’s upcoming telecommunications regulator could hold a 3G licence auction around the end of this year. The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), which does not have a board yet, is drafting five-year master plans which are expected to be finished in May. The implementation of he plans would start within three months of the new eleven-member NBTC board taking office, the Bangkok Post reports citing Natee Sukolrat, a deputy head of the acting NBTC. The new regulator could begin the 3G auction for 2.1 GHz spectrum licences by the end of the year. The master plan will also include broadband internet goals such as ensuring 10 Mbps internet services for residents in rural areas, covering at least 50 percent of the population and ensuring 100 Mbps internet services for urban residents, covering at least 15 percent of Thailand’s population. Nationwide, everyone should have access to speeds of at least 2 Mbps over the next five years. Furthermore, basic telecommunications voice services should cover 99 percent of the population and data services 90 percent under the plans. Voice service fees would be lowered by at least 28 percent from the current rates while data service charges would fall by 65 percent.

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