The digital TV auction will be delayed to December or January to ensure the process runs smoothly, says the head of the broadcasting regulator.
Col Natee Sukonrat, chairman of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission's broadcasting committee, said the information of memorandum (IM) for the auction will be announced on Aug 27 and the regulator will clarify some doubtful IM details to potential bidders on Sept 3.
The auction document costing 1 million baht will be sold from Sept 10-12 and the NBTC will explain details about it on Oct 15.
The NBTC will open applications from Oct 28-29 and will announce qualified applicants within 45 days.
The auction will be held within 30 days (in December or January). The regulator will announce the certification of the auction within 15 days.
Col Natee expects digital TV will start broadcasting around February or March next year, later than the previous expected date of Dec 5.
The regulation on the digital TV auction method means licensed broadcasters must air their channels digitally within 45 days of the regulator certifying them.
"The three-month digital TV auction time frame aims to ensure a smooth process and provide opportunities to a wide range of participants," Col Natee said.
A source from one licensed network operator said the issue of network rental cost is still unclear due to a licence-issuing delay to facility providers.
This means that four network providers _ Thai PBS, the Royal Thai Army, MCOT Plc and the Public Relations Department _ are finding it difficult to calculate the network rental cost.
The NBTC has issued only one facility provider licence to Thai PBS, which has 18 main broadcast towers.
According to the NBTC, there will be 39 main stations and 114 substations.
"Facilities are a key factor to calculate the network rental cost. Although we [Thai PBS, MCOT, the Royal Thai Army, Public Relations Department, TOT and CAT Telecom] have agreed to share our infrastructure, it's not easy to implement and clinch an official commercial agreement," a source said.
Moreover, the unclear must-carry rule means channel operators must estimate the satellite-carrying cost.
Col Natee said digital TV bidders will know network rental costs at least 30 days before the auction takes place.
About the author
- Writer: Saengwit Kewaleewongsatorn
Position: Business Reporter