Taiwan aims to issue 4G licenses by June '14

Dylan Bushell-Embling
15 Mar 2012

Taiwan has set a goal of issuing 4G licenses by June 2014, and has hinted that four licenses will be auctioned off.

The government has approved the National Communications Commission's plan to commence the 4G auction process in 2013, and issue licenses the following year, CENSreported.

The auction will be for spectrum in either the 700-MHz or 2.6-GHz bands, coupled with spectrum in the 900-MHz and 1,800-MHz band refarmed from 2G operations.

The auction will be technology agnostic, with many expecting the winners to side with LTE rather than the Wimax technology that has historically been favored in the nation.

Separately, the new cabinet's technology expert, minister without portfolio Simon Chang, has revealed he favors sticking with international convention when choosing the number of licenses to be allocated.

Chang said his preferred formula would be “N plus one”, where N is the number of major operators, Focus Taiwanreported.

Taiwan has three major full-service mobile operators – Chunghwa, Taiwan Mobile and Far EasTone – and two smaller players – Asia Pacific Telecom Co and Vibo Telecom.

The extra license will be to enable the participation of at least of these one smaller operators.

Chang said the government is still deciding what to do for the nation's six Wimax operators, which have so far managed to acquire just 133,000 Wimax subscribers between them since acquiring licenses in 2007.

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