Thailand 4G Auction Postponement Could Affect Mobile Market Share

Communications spectrum, politics, money, market share and firm fortunes almost always are intimately connected. In Thailand, for example, a delay in holding of fourth generation network spectrum auctions might help the smallest service provider, and harm the biggest provider.

Advanced Info Service, for example, is the biggest mobile company, in terms of subscribers, but has the least amount of spectrum. True, the smallest of the three national carriers, recently got an investment from China Mobile, and the spectrum auction delay could slow AIS growth.

Planned fourth generation mobile network spectrum auctions originally planned for August 2014 have been postponed.

The planned auctions for 25 MHz in the 1.8 GHz spectrum band was due to be held in August 2014, with another 17.5 MHz in the 900 MHz band also expected to be awarded sometime later in 2014.

Some have suggested the auction delay could help one contestant, True, and limit gains by AIS, an expected bidder. So China Mobile gain,s while Telenor might lose, given the potential impact on their Thailand partners.

AIS, the largest service provider in terms of subscribers, does not have any present rights to any 4G spectrum. So spectrum scarcity could slow growth, as AIS could find it does not have enough capacity to provide reasonable levels of service to its customers, a problem other mobile service providers have, from time to time, also encountered.
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