Three companies are qualified to join the bidding for satellite orbital slot packages, to be held by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) on January 15th, with a mock auction to be held the day before.

The companies are the Space Tech Innovation Company, the state-owned National Telecommunications Public Company and Prom Technical Services Company.

Air Marshal Thanapant Raicharoen, a member of the NBTC, said today (Tuesday) that they will use a Sequential Ascending Clock Auction, an auction in which bidder places requested quantities against defined price steps, in the bidding process. Participants will bid in every 20 minute round, with the bid prices of a new round being increased by 5% of the minimum bid price.

The winner will be the one who offers the highest price in the final round of the auction, he said, adding that the NBTC will ensure that the bid is transparent and free from collusion.

AM Thanapant dismissed a suggestion that the auction should be scrapped and the satellite orbital slot packages awarded to National Telecommunications instead, citing Section 60 of the Constitution which specifies that the state must protect the rights of access to satellite orbit frequencies for the benefit of the country and the people.

He said that the NBTC, which is in charge of managing the rights, must promote free and fair competition in satellite communication services, adding that, if the auction is scrapped and the rights awarded to National Telecommunications, it may go against the Constitution regarding monopolistic business and risks backlash from the International Telecommunications Union.

He insisted that the NBTC has, as its top priority, the public interest in holding the auction, as seen in one of the terms of reference, requiring the winning bidder to allow the government to use, free of charge, one broadcast transponder and a 400 Mbps data broadband channel per satellite.



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