Taiwanese multi-service operator Chunghwa Telecom has outlined plans to deploy additional small cell base stations with a view to ensuring expansive coverage when it rolls out commercial 4G services, expected next year. According to DigiTimes, which cites the telco’s president Shih Mu-piao, the small cells have coverage range of between ten metres and 1-2km, and will be installed in outdoor locations such as on street lights. ‘Coverage is absolutely the most important thing at the beginning, and we have seen a trend of adopting smaller base stations,’ the executive was quoted as saying, adding: ‘We can put regular base stations in certain locations and make them work in accordance with small cells … They can help decrease bad-reception areas in our 4G network while increasing the capacity of our 4G system.’
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Chunghwa emerged from the state’s auction of 4G spectrum with the largest batch of frequencies in October 2013 and earlier this month announced its plans to launch LTE services in the second half of 2014. The company will spend up to TWD40 billion (USD1.4 billion) on deploying more than 7,000 base stations to cover at least 96% of the population over the next five years. CHT secured three bands in the spectrum auction, agreeing to pay TWD39.08 billion for three frequency blocks totalling 35MHz of bandwidth, with those blocks being the ‘B2’ block in the 900MHz band and the ‘C2’ and ‘C5’ blocks in the 1800MHz band. Further details regarding network rollout plans have also been forthcoming more recently, with the Economic Daily News reporting that Chunghwa Telecom is actually aiming to construct between 5,000 and 6,000 4G base stations in the next two years, including 500 in the second half of next year.