On May 15 2013 the National Communications Commission (NCC) announced that the 4G auction will be conducted in November 2013. Three frequency bands – 700 megahertz (MHz), 900MHz and 1800MHz, which are equivalent to the bandwidth 135MHz x 2 – will be released for simultaneous-multiple-round auction and then assigned to successful bidders of mobile broadband service licences (estimated to number between four and eight). Applications must be submitted to the NCC by July 1 2013. The licence term shall begin on the date of issuance and last until December 31 2030.
According to the definition given by the NCC in its new rules set for mobile broadband service, a ‘mobile broadband system’ shall consist of:
• high-speed base stations with a download speed of not less than 100 megabits per second under condition of 15MHz bandwidth;
• relevant mobile communications equipment provided by operators using the frequencies allocated during this licensing; and
• the mobile communication technical standards released by the International Telecommunications Union.
The NCC disclosed the base prices(1) at a total of NT$35.9 billion for the upcoming auction of bandwidth to be assigned to mobile broadband service as follows:
• A1 – 703-713/758-768 (NT$4.6 billion);
• A2 – 713-723/768-778 (NT$4.6 billion);
• A3 – 723-733/778-788 (NT$4.6 billion); and
A4 – 733-748/788-803 (NT$6.9 billion).
• B1 – 885-895/930-940 (NT$1.6 billion);
• B2 – 895-905/940-950 (NT$1.6 billion); and
• B3 – 905-915/950-960 (NT$2.1billion).
• C1 – 1710-1725/1805-1820 (NT$2.2 billion);
• C2 – 1725-1735/1820-1830 (NT$1.4 billion);
• C3 – 1735-1745/1830-1840 (NT$1.4 billion);
• C4 – 1745-1755/1840-1850 (NT$1.4 billion); and
• C5 – 1755-1770/1850-1865 (NT$3.0 billion).
Subject to the NCC’s approval, bid winners which are mobile phone business operators may apply to assign to each other, based on the same band and same bandwidth conditions, the 900MHz or 1800MHz band for which they have obtained a licence within six months of obtaining the establishment preparation permission.
The NCC expects that within the next five years, up to 500MHz bandwidth will be available by auction for more mobile broadband services. According to information revealed in a public consultation conducted by the government, the 2.6 gigahertz band currently used for Wireless Broadband Access licences (WiMAX licences) is being planned for release either sooner in September 2013 or later by end of 2016.
(1) NT$30 = US$1
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