NCC releases data concerning slow uptake of WiMAX in Taiwan; are geographical restrictions to blame?

23 Nov 2010

According to a report in the Taiwan Economic News, the National Communications Commission (NCC) has released data concerning the uptake of WiMAX services in the country, showing that at 30 September 2010 the country was home to just 22,935 WiMAX subscribers. In comparison the country reported 18.07 million 3G subscribers at the same date. The report suggests that licence restrictions, which stipulate that each licence can only be used in one of three geographical areas of the island – North, Central or South – could be responsible for the slow growth, although some operators commenced the provision of roaming services in August.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, four broadband operators – Global Mobile, Tatung Infocomm, FarEasTone (FET) and VMAX – were awarded technology-neutral licences in June 2007. The NCC indicated that the quartet may apply to alter their operational plans in order to adopt different mobile technologies – including Long Term Evolution (LTE) in the future. Two other WiMAX licensees – Fitel and Vee – have technology-specific concessions which are tied to WiMAX. According to the NCC, 4G licensing will take place in 2014 at the earliest. As yet, no decisions have yet been made with regard to spectrum planning or the number of 4G licences that will be awarded.