NCC sets minimum bidding level for 4G frequencies

17 May 2013

Taiwanese telecoms regulator the National Communications Commission (NCC) has outlined the starting prices for the 4G-suitable spectrum which is expected to go on sale later this year, the Digitimes reports. Should the government sell all spectrum on offer at its lowest price, it would raise some TWD35.9 billion (USD1.2 billion) in total. With frequencies in the 700MHz, 900MHz and 1800MHz bands to be offered for sale, the NCC has also confirmed that a total of twelve lots of spectrum will be made available, each offering between 20MHz and 30MHz.

In the 700MHz band four lots of spectrum will be offered, three of which carry a base price of TWD4.6 billion for 20MHz of bandwidth, and one of which will cost at least TWD6.9 billion for a 30MHz block. Meanwhile, three lots in the 900MHz have been detailed, and while all three offer 20MHz of bandwidth, two will cost at least TWD2.1 billion, with the third costing at least TWD1.6 billion. Finally, five lots will be up for grabs in the 1800MHz band, with three of those offering 20MHz of bandwidth for a minimum bid of TWD1.4 billion. The remaining two lots will both offer 30MHz of bandwidth, although are priced differently, at TWD2.2 billion and TWD3.0 billion. The NCC noted that the variation in pricing for spectrum blocks in the same band was partly dependent on the date at which the frequencies will become available for use, as some spectrum in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands are currently used for 3G services and the licenses are not expected to expire until 2018.

The pricing announcement comes just a few weeks after the NCC outlined the timeframe for applications for the 4G spectrum auction. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, the regulator last month revealed that it would begin accepting applications for 4G concessions on 1 May 2013, with the submission period set to end on 15 June. Following that the regulator has confirmed that it will examine the applicants between 15 June and 15 August with a view to announcing a list of those would-be bidders that have qualified to participate in the sale process. With an auction rehearsal expected to take place on 20 August, the spectrum sale itself will get underway on 26 August.