Thailand’s telecom regulator National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has officially announced the re-auction of 900MHz spectrum that Jasmine Mobile won in December, but failed to make the payment of $2.14 billion bid price. The new auction will be held on 24 June 2016.
The regulator will organize the re-auction under tougher rules, including a rise in financial guarantees from bidders, and increased penalties if the winners fail to pay. The bidding price starts at THB75.65 million baht, the winning bid and the increment will be THB152 million baht per round.
In the re-auction, the regulator asks the bidders to put up 5% of the new reserve price, or THB3.78 billion, before the auction starts. In case of failure to pay, the bidders have to pay an additional THB11.35 billion.
Jasmine Mobile will be barred from participation in the re-auction. However, the other winner of December auction TrueMove can participate. In case, if the auction fail to attract any bidders, NBTC will reportedly suspend the auction for one year.
However, Thailand’s largest operator AIS has expressed interest to pay THB75.65 million baht, the winning bid defaulted by Jasmine Mobile for the 900MHz. It demands the regulator to issue the license after making the payment, which will take two-months as AIS would need to get its shareholders’ approval. The operator has also asked NBTC for permission to continue using the 900-MHz for 2G in the meantime.
According to reports, NBTC has denied the proposal and has replied saying it is beyond the purview of its actions. The response letter is also said to state that the junta leader and Prime Minister General Prayut Chanocha can use Article 44, the absolute power clause in the interim constitution to approve the same.