Thai break? Lessons from the 900MHz and 1800MHz auctions

The recent auctions of spectrum in the 1800MHz and 900MHz bands in Thailand were an important step in the replacement of the traditional concession system with a more modern spectrum allocation framework. Marred by legal challenges and conducted in the form of unprecedented round-the-clock bidding marathons, the auctions produced high licence prices.

Since completion, one of the winners of 900MHz spectrum has defaulted on its licence fee and the spectrum has been returned for re-auction, so the process has clearly not been an unmitigated success.

This paper looks at the background to the Thai awards and their outcome, and identifies some of the flaws that are likely to be responsible for the outcome and that could have been avoided.

It can be downloaded here.

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