A government official revealed yesterday that of the six WiMAX licences to be put up for tender in Taiwan this year, two will be reserved for new entrants. ‘New entrants may be more interested in a faster deployment of the wireless services and creating value than the incumbent operators,’ said Wang Der-Wei, an official responsible for WiMAX at regulatory body the NCC.
The government plans to award three six-year WiMAX licences in 2007 for each of the northern and southern regions of the country, and at least one ten-year island-wide licence in 2009. The NCC approved the regulations covering the applications for the licences this week, Wang said, adding that the commission will announce the regulations by the end of next week. It will then announce the tender terms in early April, after which companies will have 60 days to apply for a concession, whereupon the permits themselves will be awarded in late July, rather than June under the original plan.
Wang went on to state that the NCC has set a minimum capital requirement on licence winners of TWD1 billion (USD30 million). Taiwan’s three largest mobile operators by revenue and subscribers, Chunghwa Telecom, Far EasTone and Taiwan Mobile all plan to apply for a licence.