Thailand: National Telecom will not bid for satellite licence

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Thailand’s National Telecom will not be bidding for a satellite licence. Instead, the company will focus on 5G.

National Telecom, itself a recent merger between two Thai major businesses, TOT (Telecom Organisation of Thailand) and CAT (Communications Authority of Thailand) which took place in January and still control much of the terrestrial communications in the country.

TOT and CAT once controlled monopolies over domestic and international telephone services, respectively. That changed in the mid-2000s when Thailand opened the telecom market for competition from privately owned players.

The country is holding an auction of four satellite orbital slot packages on August 28th, but according to Digital Economy and Society (DES) Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn, National telecom will not be entering the auction.

In the 5G spectrum auction last year, CAT Telecom won 20MHz of bandwidth in the 700MHz range, worth 34.3 billion Thai baht. TOT secured 200MHz of bandwidth in the 26 GHz range.

Currently there’s only one bidder for satellite spectrum, which is TC Space Connect, a subsidiary of Thaicom. There is still room for bidders to enter the process and the bidding process will close on August 11th.


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