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: DOCOMO and Huawei confirm LTE network over unlicensed spectrum

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

Bringing emergency communications together

Aug 21, 2014

A new University of Adelaide research project aims to improve emergency operations through integrated communications systems for police and the emergency services.

For top broadband policy, look no further than Canada

Aug 20, 2014

You might have seen communications minister Malcolm Turnbull raising the issue about Australian press not discussing policy problems and solutions from overseas, in a speech delivered at the Lowy Institute Media Awards last week: ...

Cities, states face off on municipal broadband

Aug 19, 2014

Wilson, N.C., determined nearly a decade ago that high-speed Internet access would be essential to the community's social and economic health in the 21st century, just as electricity, water and sewers were in the previous ...

New loss mechanism for global 4G roaming

Aug 19, 2014

A loss mechanism that has not been an issue in previous mobile handset antennas will become important for global 4G roaming, according to results of experiments carried out in Aalborg, Denmark.

User comments : 0