Taiwanese legislators raise concerns over fierce bidding for 4G spectrum

22 Oct 2013

With the combined highest bids for the twelve frequency band units being offered in Taiwan’s ongoing 4G spectrum auction having reached TWD104.76 billion (USD3.54 billion), legislators are said to be concerned that the cost of the concessions could prompt higher customer-facing prices when commercial services are introduced. As such, with the total bid level having reached almost three times the floor price set by the National Communications Commission (NCC), the Digitimes says that the regulator has been directed to consider applying rollout requirements for the on-sale licences. To that end, it has been recommended that 4G licensees should be obliged to roll out networks covering 50% of market areas within five years of receiving a concession, while maximum prices for 4G tariffs could be capped at the same level as 3G services. Further, legislators have also recommended that the NCC introduce regulations which would prevent licensees from procuring LTE infrastructure equipment produced by Chinese vendors such as Huawei Technologies and ZTE for the sake of national security.

Meanwhile, the Digitimes also reports that the highest temporary price bid for the C5 band unit (1755MHz-1770MHz for upload; 1850MHz-1865MHz for download) reached TWD24.935 billion at 21 October, more than eight times above the floor price of TWD3.0 billion. Competition for the five 1800MHz band units on offer has been far more intense than for the four 700MHz blocks and three 900MHz blocks. As such, the total bids for 1800MHz spectrum stood at TWD68.755 billion at 21 October (7.31 times the corresponding total floor price), while the total bids for the 700MHz band and 900MHz band were TWD28.295 billion and TWD7.705 billion, respectively.