Seven companies apply to take part in Taiwan’s 4G spectrum auction

2 Jul 2013

Seven companies will vie for spectrum suitable for offering 4G services in Taiwan’s upcoming auction, the Digitimes reports. With the deadline for submissions to take part in the sale process having now passed, the National Communications Commission (NCC) has revealed the identities of the would-be bidders. All four of the country’s 3G licensees – Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile, Far EasTone and Asia Pacific Telecom – are among the companies that will participate, with the other three being: Foxconn Group subsidiary Ambit Microsystems; a mobile telecom company newly established by the Ting Hsin International Group; and another new company set up by the Shinkong Group.

The NCC will now examine the applicants with a view to announcing which of them have qualified to participate in the sale process, with this preliminary screening expected to be complete by the end of August 2013. The bidding process itself is then expected to get underway in early September 2013, the regulator has said.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in May 2013 the NCC outlined the starting prices for the 4G-suitable spectrum which will be made available. Should the government sell all spectrum on offer at its lowest price, it will raise around TWD35.9 billion (USD1.2 billion) in total. With frequencies in the 700MHz, 900MHz and 1800MHz bands to be offered for sale, the NCC at that date also confirmed at that date 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 will all offer 20MHz of bandwidth, with two costing at least TWD2.1 billion, and the third 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 they 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.