Thailand's NBTC postpones auction of digital TV licences

Louise Duffy | 08-11-2012

Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has decided to postpone the auction for licences to run commercial terrestrial digital TV channels.

The deadline has been put back from March to April so that applicants have more time to draw up investment plans. The NBTC will also have time to complete all its key related regulations.

The Nation reports that the NBTC is also postponing from December to January the granting of licences for broadcasting service providers for public service and the planned five broadcasting network provider licences.

The NBTC will hold a public hearing tomorrow about its decision to divide terrestrial digital TV channels into 48 slots as well as on draft regulations on issuing licences for broadcasting network providers.

Of the 48 terrestrial digital television channels planned, four will be high-definition and the rest standard-definition. Of the 44 SD channels, 12 will be devoted to public service and another 12 to community service, while the remainder, including the four HD channels, will be for commercial broadcast.

The NBTC is dividing the terrestrial digital TV broadcasting licences into four main classes: broadcasting network service provider or multiplex service operators; broadcasting facility service providers; broadcasting service providers; and application service providers. Only operators wishing to provide commercial broadcasting services will need to bid for a spectrum.