Gov't Decides to Advance Release of 4G Licenses

Mar 05, 2012 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι Furniture Ι By Philip Liu, CENS
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Taipei, March 5, 2012 (CENS)--The government has decided to release 4G licenses in July next year, at the earliest, one to two years ahead of the original schedule of July 2015, so that local 4G operations can start commercial run from 2015, in sync with the development in mainland China.

The decision was proposed by Chang Chin-fu, minister without portfolio, and has been approved by Premier Sean Chen, in line with the suggestion of some hi-tech and telecom firms. Along with the plan to retrieve 2G bandwidth, the government originally planned to release 4G licenses in July 2015, paving the way for the commercial run of 4G operations in 2017.

An official in charge pointed out that the feasibility of the advancement of 4G operations hinges on two factors. One is whether the military can yield 700 MHz bandwidth for use by 4G operations by July of 2013. Second is the time for the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) to complete the formulation of 4G technological standards.

The Ministry of National Defense has agreed to yield MHz bandwidth for 4G use within one year, or before July next year.

For the sake of fairness, the 4G licenses will be released via open bidding, allowing existing telecom carriers and new comers to take part.

There are eight bandwidth blocs available for 4G operations, including two bandwidth blocs for 700 MHz being utilized by the military, two bandwidth blocs for 900 MHz being utilized by 2G operations, and three bandwidth blocs for 1,800 MHz. In other words, the maximum number of 4G licenses to be released can reach eight.

The official stressed that the actual number of 4G licenses will depend on the bandwidth specification to be formulated by the ITU and the planning of National Communications Commission, in line with the industrial development policy and market demand. NCC leans towards limiting the number of licenses.
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