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‘Golden’ telephone numbers to be auctioned off

Plans are afoot for ‘Golden’ telephone numbers such as 09 99999999 and 09 89898989 to be auctioned off by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, the auctions are expected to raise one billion baht for the state.

The Land Transport Department has been auctioning licence plates with ‘golden’ numbers for years , buying ‘golden’ numbers is not unusual for those who believe in good luck and prosperity.

The deputy secretary of the NBTC, Korkij Danchaivichit, who is in charge of the drafting of the auction rules for mobile phone numbers said the watchdog planned to auction numbers in the second quarter next year once the regulations details for the auction have been decided on. The first task, he said, was for the committee to set the definition of a golden number and organize the golden number categories, it is expected that around 200 numbers will be thought of as desirable. “We will categorise the numbers by grade A, B , C or lower and set the minimum starting price for each category,” Korkij said.

He said prices would vary from Bt1,000 to more than Bt1 million – just like the prices for numbers being sold on the NBTC website.

The NBTC, which is often criticised for being an uneconomical agency, has kept around 10 million golden numbers for years. “This is part of the NBTC’s plan to support the state,” Korkij said. “It will be the same pattern as the spectrum auction, in which the NBTC passed on all the revenue to the state coffer.”

Korkij’s committee has to design an auction model that is accessible for mobile phone operators and the general public.

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