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Getting ready for 5G. NCPO extends digital band payments.

Tanutam Thawan

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Thailand’s mobile phone operators using the 900Mhz band and digital TV licensees have been given an extension for their concession fee payments.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, as head of the NCPO, has invoked Article 44 of the interim Constitution, to extend the concession fee payment schedule for mobile phone operators from 4 months to 10 months.

The relaxation in the timing of payments to be made to the NBTC will greatly ease the financial burden on the concession holders.

The move is also expected to help the operators participate in a fresh round of bidding for the 700Mhz and 2600Mhz licences, which will pave the way for 5G technology in Thailand.

Digital TV operators, who bid high for the licences to beat off competition, have found themselves in deep financial trouble due to so-called ‘technological disruption’ as audiences migrated to smart phones and streaming services for their content. This has caused a significant drop in advertising revenues available from broadcast TV.

Digital TV operators now have 30 days to return the licensees to the NBTC if they want to leave the business. The licensees will be eligible to receive compensation from the NBTC, depending on how much of the concession fees they have already paid.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

 

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