The proposed roll out of the super high speed 5G network in Thailand was dealt a severe setback this week.
Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission is set to postpone the 5G spectrum auction which was due to take place in 2018.
The NBTC had previously stated the auction for the 2.6GHz spectrum was originally due to take place in June 2017. However, this now looks set to be delayed until at least 2018 because of a number of technicalities.
80MHz of the 190MHz of 2.6GHz spectrum set aside for the rollout of 5G is currently owned by the state owned public broadcaster MCOT, which has said it expects to compensated for handing over its share of the spectrum.
Currently the NBTC is not authorised to pay compensation to state agencies, the Bangkok Post reported. However, while a new draft bill is expected to give the NBTC such powers, the implementation of the bill and further restructuring of the NBTC is likely to add delays to the whole auction process and proposed roll out of 5G in Thailand.
Prawit Leesathapornwongsa, an NBTC commissioner told the Bangkok Post: “I strongly believe that the planned auction of 2600MHz spectrum will not be able to take place in 2017 as scheduled”.
The news comes after the NBTC said Thailand would be the first country in ASEAN to roll out 5G.
In January, NBTC Secretary-General Takorn Tantasith said that the infrastructure is almost in place and that users in Thailand will be able to use 5G by the year 2020.