The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) is set to start redeploying the 380-510-megahertz frequency from next month in a bid to solve the 700-MHz frequency dispute within the next five years.
The regulator will hold a public hearing on the reallocation of four frequency bands for digital trunk radio: 380-399.9 MHz, 401-405.9 MHz, 406.2-410 Mhz and 430-450 MHz. The bands are now being used by more than 500 private companies and government agencies.
A source said if the four bands can be returned to the NBTC, the regulator will set the 380-510-MHz band for broadcasting, while the 700-790-MHz band will be reserved for telecommunications, which would suit global harmonisation.
The International Telecommunication Union has set the 700-MHz band for telecommunications, with the US, Japan, South Korea already using this band for telecom services.
In Thailand, the 700-Mhz band is being used for digital TV, but it will be available for telecom purposes soon.
The source said it is challenging for the NBTC to decide frequency reallocation.
Some revenue from the 700-Mhz band may be set as compensation payments of more than 1 billion baht to existing frequency users.
The NBTC has five frequency bands in its reallocation pipeline: 700 MHz, 800/900 MHz, 2.3 gigahertz, 2.6 GHz and 137-174 MHz (VHF band).
The 900-MHz and 1800-Mhz bands are set to be auctioned in 2015-16, while the 2.3-GHz and 2.6-GHz bands will be up for auction in 2017 and 2016 respectively.
The NBTC informed digital TV operators that some revenue from the 700-MHz band auction will be allocated for changing signal transmission networks to suit technical factors.