Taiwan Star Cellular has begun offering 4G services using frequencies in the 2.6GHz band, according to Digitimes, making it the third of the country’s cellcos to do so. It is understood that the operator has launched services using the 40MHz of spectrum it acquired via the state’s auction which concluded in December 2015; as previously reported by CommsUpdate, Taiwan Star spent TWD6.615 billion (USD201 million) on 2×20MHz (2500MHz-2520MHz/2620MHz-2640MHz). Having introduced services using the new spectrum, it was also noted that Taiwan Star is using carrier aggregation (CA) technology to combine these with the 900MHz frequencies it was already using for 4G to boost maximum theoretical downlink speeds to 225Mbps. With a capital expenditure budget of between TWD5 billion and TWD6 billion set aside for 2016, Taiwan Star has said it plans to construct additional 900MHz base stations around Taiwan, while installing 2.6GHz-compatible sites in metropolitan areas, though it also plans to begin testing small cell devices.
Alongside Taiwan Star, both Chungwha Telecom and Far EasTone (FET) have both already begun utilising their respective 2.6GHz allocations purchased in the December 2015 auction. Of the two, Chungwha was first to market in late March 2016, using tri-band carrier aggregation (3C) comprising spectrum in the 900MHz, 1800MHz and 2.6GHz bands, having deployed base stations operating over the latter band plus 4G Small Cell devices in urban areas with relatively high mobile traffic. For its part, FET announced the launch of services utilising 3C (700MHz/1800MHz/2.6GHz) just a few days later.