Six companies yesterday won licences to operate WiMAX services in Taiwan. First International Telecom (Fitel), Global On Corp and Wei Mai Si Telecom won licences covering the north of the country, whilst Far EasTone, Tatung Co and Vestar Cable TV System Corp won concessions to operate in the south. A total of eight firms took part in the bidding process overseen by the National Communications Commission (NCC). Chunghwa Telecom and Taiwan Digital Communications Corp, a re-investment company of Taiwan Mobile, were the unsuccessful bidders. Chunghwa and Taiwan Mobile both expressed an interest in obtaining nationwide licences instead, which are due to be issued by the NCC in two years time. PHS operator First International Telecom, Taiwan’s fourth-largest mobile provider by sales, plans to set up a WiMAX network in the first half of next year, and hopes to begin commercial operations in the second half at the earliest, the United Daily Evening News quoted company president Wu Ching-yuan as saying. Once launched First International plans to offer unlimited internet access for TWD990 (USD30) per month, Wu said. All six new licensees must pay TWD40 million as a guarantee within a month, and a further TWD210 million as a licence fee deposit. Upon paying the guarantees, operators will receive permits to build their networks, and services must begin within one year of obtaining of the licence, although a one-year extension may be permitted.