News Column

Reallocation of 700-MHz by 2029

July 18, 2014

By Saengwit Kewaleewongsatorn, Bangkok Post, Thailand



July 18--The 700-megahertz spectrum will be allocated for telecommunications purposes in the next 15 years after the 470-510-MHz range is returned for use in broadcasting.

The move comes amid pressure by the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to allocate 700 MHz for telecommunications instead of digital TV broadcasting as happens now. The Bangkok-based APT is a joint initiative of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and the ITU.

The 24 digital TV channel operators recently urged the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission's (NBTC) telecom committee to recall the 470-510-MHz range from the existing 10 holders, all of which are government agencies including TOT Plc, the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) and the armed forces. The returned spectrum would allow allocation of the 700-MHz spectrum for mobile broadband use.

The 698-790-MHz range is reserved for both broadcasting and telecommunications purposes in Thailand. The national frequency plan reserves the 700-MHz spectrum for broadcasting, but this does not comply with international standards.

The APT wants the 700-MHz spectrum reallocated for telecom use by 2020, while international guidelines require use of the 470-698-MHz range for broadcasting. Thai regulators allotted the 510-790-MHz range for broadcasting.

An NBTC source said allocation of the 700-MHz spectrum in Thailand may be delayed, as happened in South Africa and Britain. Delays in spectrum allocation are expected to hurt roaming services, but frequency jams in border areas are a technical problem that can be easily addressed.

The ITU said the 700-790-MHz range was the most suitable for fourth-generation (4G) mobile service, as signals could be expanded more widely than with other spectra such as 1800 and 900 MHz. This means telecoms would not have to invest as much in cell site expansion.

Frequency allocation in Thailand is better positioned than in neighbouring countries, said Robert Pepper, vice-president for global technology policy at Cisco Systems Inc, a designer, maker and seller of networking equipment. Proper frequency allocation can determine a country's growth potential, he said.

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(c)2014 the Bangkok Post (Bangkok, Thailand)

Visit the Bangkok Post (Bangkok, Thailand) at www.bangkokpost.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services


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Source: Bangkok Post (Thailand)


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