Yesterday, (August 9, 2018) Mr. Najiv Bawa, Deputy Chief Executive Director of Company Business and Development of Total Access Communication Public Company Limited (DTAC) stated the reasons of not participating the 900 MHz spectrum auction were the high capital management, especially the terms and conditions of the auction that the successful buyer must responsible in preventing frequency collision from Rapid Transit System.
Because it was practically difficult to install the preventive devices in other operators and State Railway of Thailand’s (SRT) area. More importantly, the number of the devices to install were still unknown, while any problem or damage to the Rapid Transit System would be responsible by the successful buyer.
Mr. Najiv also gave examples on Chinese’s transit system, who used 450 MHz spectrum with LTE-R technology. The scenario that the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) moved SRT to 450 MHz spectrum also could be done. Then bring 900 MHz spectrum back into the auction. If this scenario could be achieved, DTAC would discuss with NBTC of the possibility in renewing terms and conditions.
Thus, DTAC would like to offer three solutions to NBTC which were:
- Shift SRT to 450 MHz spectrum and bring 900 MHz spectrum for a total of 10 MHz back to the auction. In case of frequency collision, proper devices must be utilized.
- Other mobile service operators to remain on 900 MHz spectrum and install their own devices. Any expenses would be compensated by NBTC.
- Allow every mobile service operators to use 900 MHz spectrum, and moved SRT to an early 900 MHz frequency slot. However, this scenario would only have one operator to install the preventive devices, which the operator might not be willing to agree on the term.
“When DTAC returned the concession of 850 MHz spectrum to NBTC, DTAC added that the 850 MHz spectrum should not be used in train operation. We think it is best that SRT to change the spectrum to neither 850 MHz spectrum or 900 MHz spectrum, and we would like SRT to reconsider their own spectrum usage. After both spectrums is out of SRT’s concern, the spectrum will be finally available for the auction. Mr. Rajiv said.
Meanwhile, another problem would be about DTAC that has been using 850 MHz spectrum all along, including base stations and 13 thousand antennas. DTAC’s 850 MHz spectrum devices will not function with 900 MHz spectrum. After NBTC readjusts its frequency, DTAC will need around two years to reconstruct the stations. Let’s see how NBTC will handle these problems.
NBTC also came out and said that the reason DTAC did not participate in the 900 MHz spectrum auction was that the conditions for the successful buyer who would also be the one to install all the devices were not clear. While the 900 MHz spectrum also provided 5 MHz to the Ministry of Transportation for Rapid Transit System Operation. The case would be raised for consideration by NBTC after no buyer participated in the auction as this spectrum was in the business area, while it was NBTC’s intention to provide it to Ministry of Transportation for Rapid Transit System Operation.
For the preventive measure on the DTAC mobile users on 850 MHz spectrum will base on the resolution of NBTC on July 18, 2018 stating that DTAC needs to show an intention of utilizing 900 MHz spectrum by participating in the auction. However, on August 8, 2018 DTAC did not turn in the documents for utilizing 900 MHz spectrum. As a result, DTAC will not receive the preventive measure for mobile users in this spectrum.
In any case, if DTAC submit a petition to NBTC to reconsider the following resolution, NBTC will raise the case in the meeting for consideration. As for 1800 MHz spectrum, DTAC will receive preventive measure for their users as DTAC already stated an intention of participating in the auction.