NCC to hold administrative hearing on APT, Taiwan Mobile 4G roaming deal

23 Jan 2015

Howard Shyr, the chairman of Taiwan’s National Communications Commission (NCC), has said that the telecoms regulator plans to hold an administrative hearing regarding the 4G roaming partnership agreement between Asia Pacific Telecom (APT) and Taiwan Mobile Company soon, according to the Taipei Times.

As reported by CommsUpdate earlier this month, amid suggestions that the partnership may have infringed both the Telecommunications Act and the Fair Trade Act, the NCC launched an investigation into the roaming deal following a collective complaint from rival operators Chunghwa Telecom, Far EasTone and Taiwan Star Cellular. Now, Shyr has been cited as saying that the partnership between APT and Taiwan Mobile could potentially constitute elements of ‘deceptive or obviously unfair conduct that is able to affect trading order,’ referring to the Fair Trade Act article, while also suggesting that the agreement could be in violation of several articles in the Telecommunication Act if the accusations made by other operators are true. ‘We will hold an administrative hearing after we complete the investigation,’ Shyr noted, adding that this would likely be held in H1 2015.

Meanwhile, questions over the partnership are also said to have been raised by lawmakers at the Transportation Committee meeting held earlier this week. Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Lee Kun-tse was said to have pointed out that Taiwan Mobile customers pay TWD1,399 (USD44.4) per month for unlimited access to 4G services, while APT subscribers pay only TWD898 to access the same infrastructure. As such, Lee argued that consumers are being charged unequally, while also suggesting that 4G services are likely to see a drop in both speed and quality with so many people sharing the same infrastructure.