Taiwan’s National Communications Commission (NCC) has reportedly confirmed that those companies successful in acquiring 5G-suitable spectrum in the country’s forthcoming auction should be required to share their new resources with smaller operators that do not manage to bag frequencies. According to Light Reading, as per a revised version of the auction rules issued last week, the local telecoms regulator has stipulated that companies that secure 5G spectrum must include sharing arrangements in their respective business plans. It is understood that the tweaks to the rules follows a degree of pushback from operators, which had called for greater flexibility, including the ability to reach sharing agreements at the base station level. All three of the nation’s larger mobile network operators (MNOs) – Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile Company and Far EasTone – have reportedly welcomed the changes.
The NCC began accepting applications to take part in the auction process last week (4 September), although the regulator’s acting chairman Yaw Shyang-Chen is cited as saying that the authorities have yet to receive bids from any potential new entrants. With only the nation’s existing MNOs reportedly having thrown their hat in the ring, Yaw was said to have suggested it is unlikely any new players will step forward to participate in the sale process. A deadline of 3 October has been set for applications, with the NCC expected to start examining applications immediately after that date, with a view to approving bidders for an auction that will get underway in December.