Well, it looks like Thailand isn’t quite the country with the Third World mentality many of us were worrying it was. Not after the long-awaited 3G auction finally went ahead in Bangkok today — after a three year wait, that is. Not only did the 3G auction manage to finally take place, all 3G licenses were auctioned off — yes, it was a complete sell-out. Welcome, Thailand, to the 21st century.
In all, there were nine 3G slots that were put up for auction to be bid on by three qualified bidders – subsidiaries of the three main telecommunications companies in Thailand – AIS, DTAC and True.. All nine slots were sold, at a total cost of 41.625 billion baht (approximately $1.36 billion US). It has not been announced which companies bought what slots yet, though. That’s supposed to be announced within the next two to three days.
Of course, the whole 3G mess in Thailand isn’t over yet. Some disgruntled individuals are still saying the 3G auction was ‘illegal’ or ‘fixed’ with one Thai lawyer (why is it always lawyers?) saying if the price of the nine slots didn’t go for at least 10 percent above the floor price, then some people who be questioning possible price collusion between the three telecommunications companies. Needless to say, the final bids were only around 2.8 percent higher than the floor. Do you get the feeling this lawyer is already preparing his legal case, figuring he can make some money on the deal? Let’s face it, there’s always one.