NCC confirms 3G licences will expire on 31 December

9 Jan 2018

Taiwanese telecoms regulator the National Communications Commission (NCC) has reportedly revealed that around 6.4 million 3G subscribers will need to migrate to a 4G-compatible tariff by the end of this year. According to the Taipei Times the NCC has confirmed that 3G licences held by the nation’s mobile network operators (MNOs) will expire on 31 December, with regulatory spokesperson Weng Po-tsung cited as saying that up until that date cellcos can apply to the NCC for permission to begin offering LTE-based services using the spectrum in the 2100MHz band which is currently used for 3G services. Weng added: ‘Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile, Far EasTone and Taiwan Star last year all retained ownership of their respective frequency blocks in the 2100MHz band during the third frequency auction for 4G service … They can use part of the 4G frequencies to serve their 3G users, depending on their demands for voice communications and their numbers of 3G users.’ Meanwhile, it was noted that 3G technology will remain in use for some time, despite the licence expirations; all of the nation’s MNOs are expected to continue relying on circuit-switched fallback (CSFB) technology to provide 4G subscribers with voice connectivity in the short term.

Currently, four of Taiwan’s five mobile operators offer 3G services, namely Chungwha Telecom, Taiwan Mobile, Far EasTone and Taiwan Star, with Asia Pacific Telecom reported to have ceased providing access via its 1xEV-DO network at the end of last year.