Thailand to hold long-awaited 3G auction next week

Oct 09, 2012
A Thai woman uses a mobile phone at a shopping mall in Bangkok. After years of delays, Thailand's top three mobile telephone operators will bid next week for licences to provide third-generation (3G) services in the kingdom, regulators said Tuesday.

After years of delays, Thailand's top three mobile telephone operators will bid next week for licences to provide third-generation (3G) services in the kingdom, regulators said Tuesday.

A business dispute meant that as other nations move to introduce faster 4G technology, Thailand has yet to roll out a proper 3G service, more than a decade after it was first launched in Japan.

Leading telecom firms Advanced Info Service, Total Access Communication (Dtac) and True Move have qualified to bid at a 3G licence auction on October 16, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission announced.

A total of 45 of bandwidth will be on offer, with a minimum price of 4.5 billion baht ($147 million) for each five megahertz block.

In 2010 a Thai court halted a 3G licence auction at the last minute after state-owned telecoms giant CAT argued that the then-regulator, the National , had no authority to conduct the bidding.

The slow pace of progress has frustrated smartphone users.

"I bought my partly because I wanted to have 3G as I like checking emails and surfing the Internet," said 37-year-old assistant manager Siwaporn Bunthuwanich.

"Other countries are more advanced but we're still left behind. The signal is not even stable yet. It makes me wonder whether we're a developing or undeveloped country," she said.

One , Dtac, is already looking further ahead by starting a technical trial of 4G in part of Bangkok. It expects to complete a nationwide network update by the end of 2012 to prepare for an eventual official launch.

Explore further: Millions without mobile phone service in Argentina

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Mobile-loving Thais still waiting for full 3G

Oct 02, 2011

While BlackBerrys and iPhones are fast becoming must-have accessories for many urban Thais, mobile Internet in the kingdom is still struggling to get out of the slow lane.

Thailand's bid for high-speed Internet stalled

Sep 23, 2010

(AP) -- Thailand's bid to catch up with neighboring countries on advanced telecommunications technology has stalled after a court Thursday ruled to suspend a bidding process for 3G licenses.

India plans 4G mobile sale: report

Apr 14, 2010

India plans to hold an auction of ultra-high-speed fourth-generation (4G) mobile phone spectrum soon after completion of 3G access now underway, a report said Wednesday.

India says 3G roaming mobile pacts 'illegal'

Dec 22, 2011

India's telecom ministry told mobile phone operators on Thursday that they must scrap "illegal" mutual roaming agreements allowing them to provide seamless nationwide 3G services.

3G auction earns India 14.6 billion dollars

May 19, 2010

India's auction of 3G bandwidth for mobile telephone services ended Wednesday, with final bids earning the government close to 15 billion dollars -- double its own estimate.

Recommended for you

Britain's BT in talks to buy mobile operator EE

Dec 15, 2014

BT Group PLC said Monday it is in exclusive talks to buy mobile phone operator EE from Germany's Deutsche Telekom and France's Orange for 12.5 billion pounds ($20 billion) in cash and shares.

Re-imagining the network

Dec 12, 2014

Communication networks are evolving to keep pace with increasing consumer needs and business demands. We've already experienced the progressive jumps from 1G to 4G wireless networks and 5G is looming in the not-too-distant ...

High-speed Internet on its way to more schools

Dec 11, 2014

The Federal Communications Commission agreed Thursday to dramatically boost spending to bring high-speed Internet access to schools and libraries in poor or rural areas, a move that would likely increase Americans' phone ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.