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dtac Trinet submits opinion letter regarding re-auction of 900MHz lot 1 to NBTC

March 22, 2016 - dtac Trinet (DTN) today submitted its views regarding the pending re-auction of Lot 1 of the 900MHz band to the NBTC in the form of a letter.
Lars Norling, Chief Executive Officer, Total Access Communication PLC or dtac, said: “We appreciate NBTC’s arrangement of the 1800 MHz and 900 MHz spectrum auctions to serve the demand of more spectrum bandwidths to cope with the ever-increasing data usage growth. With sufficient supply of spectrum, the mobile industry can further expand the capacity to serve the potential growths of various sectors. However, there are also concerns that excessive pricing of spectrum could be detrimental to the sustainable growth of the mobile industry. Even more, with the failure of the successful bidder to pay for the spectrum auction price, it can be argued that there was an artificial demand for spectrum, driving auction price of both auctions excessively high.”
In addition, the letter states that:
• While proceeds from high-priced spectrum may be viewed as gains for the Government in the short run, there may be adverse consequences in the long run, such as reduced capacity for operators to invest in mobile networks, less predictability for investors and higher volatility in the market as manifested by recent reductions in sector market cap around 500,000 million Baht within 1 month. This in turn may have a negative impact on the Government’s ambition of a Digital Thailand, for which mobile technology is a key enabler.
• DTN supports NBTC to re-auction such 900 MHz Lot 1 based on NBTC notification with all existing auction rules and criteria. The re-auction is considered as a fixing of the previous 900 MHz Lot 1 auction, therefore the re-auction of 900 MHz Lot 1 shall be limited to only the last unsuccessful bidders in the previous 900 MHz auction. Moreover, the reserve price shall be set at 16.08 billion Baht (in case there are less 3 bidders) according to the existing auction rules, which will allow the true demand of this spectrum lot set its realistic value.  
• As the re-auction of 900 MHz lot 1 is a re-run of the previously unsuccessful auction, DTN believes that it is fair to unsuccessful bidders to compete in bidding for the spectrum based on the same rules. DTN encourages NBTC to proceed with proper public hearings to ensure that all related stakeholders have an opportunity to express their views. DTN would be pleased to give further comments during the public hearing process to support NBTC for the successful re-auction of 900 MHz lot 1.