Taiwan's NCC rejects Tatung's license renewal

Dylan Bushell-Embling
22 Aug 2014

Taiwanese regulator NCC has rejected a license renewal application from Wimax provider Tatung Infocomm, after finding that the company has fallen well behind its base station deployment targets.

Tatung has deployed only 681 base stations since launching services in 2009, the Taipei Timesreported. Its business plan by contrast stipulated the deployment of 1,837 base stations.

Site investigations also show that at least 47 of the base stations are not functioning, the regulator said.

According to the NCC, Tatung had argued it failed to meet the targets because no international manufacturers are producing Wimax base stations any more, but an Israeli vendor is still doing so. As a result, the regulator rejected the excuse.

Tatung's license is due to expire at the end of the year. The company was Taiwan's first Wimax operator to apply for a license renewal.

While the decision on its own isn't going to have much of an impact on Taiwan's telecom industry – Tatung Infocomm has only around 3,500 subscribers – it indicates that other Wimax providers could face similar game-ending setbacks if they have not met their own rollout obligations.

Tatung and any other Wimax operators whose licenses are not renewed will also be required to return their spectrum to the regulator, freeing up 2.6-GHz band spectrum for LTE services.

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