22nd Biennial Conference of the International Telecommunications Society (ITS): "Beyond the Boundaries: Challenges for Business, Policy and Society", Seoul, Korea, 24th-27th June, 2018
International Telecommunications Society (ITS), Calgary
With the latest advances in mobile broadband brought by UMTS, HSDPA, and LTE, all radio communications make use of a highly regulated resource. Specific portions of that spectrum are allocated for use by competing uses, and it is a scarce and expensive resource. To deal with this scarcity, some countries have changed legislation so that other services can use portions of the spectrum initially allocated to a different service/technology. This is called re-farming: repurposing a frequency that was initially allocated to one technology for another one. Re-farming is a cost-effective way to increase capacity for mobile use without the need for market players to apply for new spectrum. This issue is becoming crucial and important for the national regulatory body in every country including Thailand to manage their scare resource with fair and clear rule. With the exponential growth in mobile broadband (MBB) services in Thailand, it places enormous demand on the need to expand the capacity of the MBB sites with the available spectrum resources. Most often, there is a dire need to acquire additional spectrum to fulfill the demand in capacity growth. Spectrum auction prices are very expensive in principle; hence operators need to maximize the available spectrum resources for better utilization. To accelerate the 3G&4G network, spectrum re-farming is needed in Thailand. This study aims to explore the similarity and difference of the objective, spectrum target and approach of spectrum re-farming in the selected countries from each region which are USA, Germany, France and Australia. Public consultation documents and related literature were used for data collection in the selected country. Additional qualitative method which was focus group was employed for data analysis in Thailand. Experience of re-farming from selected countries is expected to provide lessons for the Thai national regulatory authority (NRA) in terms of improving quality of service and coverage and create a fair competition environment among service provider.